Belfast Telegraph

Jailed Bangor surgeon struck off over needless breast ops

By Kim Pilling

A surgeon jailed for carrying out unnecessary breast operations on 10 patients has been struck off. The actions of Ian Paterson, who grew up in Bangor, Co Down, were "serious" and "intentionally harmful" over 14 years and "fundamentally incompatible" with the medical professional, a tribunal ruled.

His failure to acknowledge any of his faults showed a lack of insight that indicated he still posed a serious risk to patients, the medical practitioners tribunal also concluded.

Paterson (59) was sentenced in May to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of offences of wounding with intent and unlawful wounding against the 10 patients.

His trial at Nottingham Crown Court heard harrowing evidence from the nine women and one man who were treated in the private sector between 1997 and 2011 at Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands.

Paterson did not attend the disciplinary hearing in Manchester and was not legally represented, although he was made aware of the proceedings by post to HMP Nottingham.

The tribunal heard that Paterson did not oppose the proceedings and had expressed a wish to be erased without the need for a hearing.

Announcing the consultant surgeon's erasure, tribunal chairwoman Valerie Paterson said: "Mr Paterson's actions were serious, intentionally harmful and took place over a protracted period of time.

"He deceived patients, and fellow professionals, by communicating that the patients were at risk of cancer and needed to undergo procedures.

"He then undertook and charged for these procedures, none of which were necessary for the maintenance of their health.

"Mr Paterson exploited the trust that was put him in as a doctor, for his own gain.

"As a result, the patients involved have suffered, and continue to suffer physical and psychological consequences.

"In all these circumstances, the tribunal concluded that Mr Paterson's conviction, and the actions which led to his conviction, render him fundamentally incompatible with continuing to be a doctor."

She added that the panel had seen no evidence of an apology or remorse on behalf of Ian Paterson.

Ms Paterson added: "It (the panel) noted that he maintained his innocence throughout the police investigation and throughout his trial. The tribunal is satisfied that there is a risk of repetition, if given the opportunity."

Paterson's jail sentence has been referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General to assess whether the term of imprisonment was unduly lenient.

Charlie Massey, chief executive and registrar of the General Medical Council, said: "I am pleased that Ian Paterson has today been removed from the medical register, and can no longer do harm to patients."

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