Ian Paterson: 10 more inquests opened into victims of 'butcher' breast surgeon

Ian Paterson was jailed for 20 years in 2017 Credit: PA

A further 10 inquests have been opened and adjourned into the deaths of former patients of disgraced former surgeon Ian Paterson.

Judge Richard Foster, the coroner, said he "had reason to believe" that sub-standard care by the now-jailed surgeon had caused or contributed to the deaths of the 10 women.

The women died between 1999 and 2015 and are in addition to 38 inquests that have already been opened since July 2020.

Substantive hearings begin from October next year - the coroner said he believed there will be "about 70 or 80 lives inquests to deal with."

A substantive hearing is called to decide whether the individual's fitness to practiseis impaired - and will determine if a sanction will be imposed.

Paterson is serving a 20-year prison sentence after being jailed in 2017.

He was found found to have carried out unnecessary and unapproved procedures on more than 1,000 breast cancer patients over a period of 14 years.

He worked in private and NHS hospitals from 1997 to 2011, and was jailed for 17 offences after carrying out "cleavage-sparing" mastectomies on patients, which left behind breast tissue and risked a return of cancer.

An independent inquiry ruled he had carried out hundreds of unnecessary operations on hundreds of patients, exaggerating or inventing cancer risks.

A copy of the report after the Ian Paterson Inquiry Credit: PA

The inquiry report also found that even though concerns were raised as early as 2003, Paterson was free and able to perform the harmful surgeries due to a "culture of avoidance and denial."

Speaking before each inquest opening at Birmingham and Solihull Coroner’s Court on Friday 6 October, the coroner said: "Following a review of this case by a multi-disciplinary team, I have reason to believe that the deceased’s death was caused or contributed to by sub-standard treatment provided by Mr Paterson, and other clinicians involved in the care of the deceased."

The 10 women who had inquests opened into their deaths on Friday have had their personal details confirmed by coroner's officer Nicola Preston.

The 10 women whose inquests have been opened:

  • Veronica James, 71, a retired chemist assistant who died at her home in Solihull in 2015

  • Elaine Morris, 45, who died at an address in Solihull in 2002 and had no occupation recorded

  • Sheila Rideal, 62, a housewife from Solihull, who died at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in 2014

  • Tracey Taylor, 29, a retail area manager of Solihull who died at a hospice in Solihull in 1999

  • Pauline Tomkinson, 67, of Birmingham, who died at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in 2012 and had no occupation recorded

  • Pauline Wale, 61, a retired bank clerk of Atherstone in Warwickshire who died at the Priory Hospital in Edgbaston in 2005

  • Winifred Worrall, 85, who died at a nursing home in Solihull in 2001

  • Karen Warren, 49, who died at her home in Birmingham in 2010 and had no occupation recorded

  • Christine Baker, 59, a retired assistant headteacher of Balsall Common in the West Midlands who died at a hospice in Solihull in 2015

  • Doreen Marvin, 67, a retired accounts assistant of Birmingham who died at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital in 2011.

All inquests were adjourned by the coroner until substantive hearings begin, which start on October 7 2024 and could last up to 11 months.

The coroner also urged any next of kin of Paterson’s former patients to come forward.

In June, a pre-inquest review hearing was told that the cases of 417 patients, who had breast cancer listed in part one of their death certificates, had been reviewed.

130 more cases, where breast cancer was listed in the second part of the patient’s death certificate, were also being examined to see if it would be "proportionate" for them to be taken into account by the coroner.

The coroner previously said there were 294 further deaths where the cause of death was unknown due to it not being possible to trace a death certificate.

The inquests will "fully, fairly and fearlessly" assess whether Paterson’s actions, or wider systemic failures contributed to these deaths.

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