DAUK on Medscape: doctors call for private sector reform as inquiry finds that a dysfunctional system allowed rogue surgeon to ‘hide in plain sight’

A rogue breast surgeon was allowed to perform unnecessary procedures on hundreds of women in NHS and private hospitals because of a healthcare system “which proved itself dysfunctional at almost every level”, an independent inquiry report concluded.

Opportunities to prevent Ian Paterson, a consultant specialist breast surgeon practising in the West Midlands, to carry out medically unjustified operations were missed because of “a culture of avoidance and denial”, it said.

The Government said the report was “a shocking and sobering analysis” of failure in the NHS, the independent sector, and the regulatory system, as well as clinical malpractice by one individual.

Paterson was jailed for 20 years after being convicted in April 2017 of 17 counts of wounding with intent, and three counts of unlawful wounding, relating to nine women and one man, whom he had treated between 1997 and 2011. Paterson had treated patients at three NHS hospitals – Heartlands, Solihull, and the Good Hope – and at two run by the private firm Spire Healthcare, called Parkway Hospital and Little Aston Hospital.

Dr Rinesh Parmar, chair of The Doctors’ Association UK, and an intensive care doctor in the West Midlands, said: “Whilst there is no doubt that the harm caused to patients was due to a rogue individual, a private hospital must not be allowed to simply wash their hands of this case without taking any accountability for this happening right under their nose.

“The private system as whole must learn from the mistakes made in this tragic case to give the patients and families affected true justice.”

Excerpt from Medscape, read the full article by Peter Russell here.