Select Page

This week an investigation from Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, called ‘Can you trust your surgeon?’, investigated the alleged negligent conduct of a breast cancer surgeon – Ian Paterson. The programme, broadcast on Monday 11th November looked into the methods of an NHS cancer surgeon, who carried out over a 1000 procedures on cancer patients before being suspended.

The surgeon was a cancer surgeon for Sixteen years in private and public hospitals. Channel 4’s Dispatches programme reported that he developed an operation he called a “ cleavage sparing mastectomy ” that left residual breast tissue for aesthetic reasons. Reporter Tazeen Ahmad divulges that the surgery was self-invented by Paterson and is regarded by many medical specialists as totally untried. Reporter Tazeen Ahmad also emphasised the complications caused by incorrect medical notes made by Paterson for each operation. Paterson operated on over two hundred breast cancer victims in this way, regardless of whether it was against their wishes to do so. Not surprisingly, Thirty three patients who received the surgery have continued to develop cancer else where in their bodies.

Fears concerning Paterson’s procedures go as far back as 2003 and in 2007, doctors raised concerns and took it upon themselves to investigate Paterson’s conduct. Paterson was suspended by the General Medical Council in 2012 and the GMC is investigating his procedures.

The Chief Executive of the NHS Trust where Patterson worked – Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, issued a statement on the programme, stating: “I would like to re-emphasise that, on behalf of the Trust, I very much regret what has happened to so many women, and our thoughts are with them and their families”

Dr Mark Newbold’s added: “Since my appointment, and the appointment of a new Chair and Medical Director from 2010, I have taken a number of important steps. These include: … Suspending Mr Paterson from the Trust in 2011 … Writing to all the women who had mastectomies performed by Mr Paterson … Introducing the new national doctors’ re-validation process at the Trust. Part of this process looks at doctors’ performance and will ensure problems are picked up.

The full response can be read here: Read More

Have you been affected by the programme, or need to speak to someone about a negligent Doctor then see our website about a claim for medical negligence.