Belfast Telegraph

NHS pays £17m to victims of rogue Bangor surgeon with more cases pending

By Ella Pickover

The NHS has paid out more than £17m in compensation to victims of a rogue surgeon from Northern Ireland.

NHS Resolution said, as of July 31, it had received 277 claims involving Ian Paterson's NHS practice and paid £17,411,639 in total on those cases.

The figure, reported in the Health Service Journal, may increase as private patients have launched a legal bid against the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, private health provider Spire Healthcare and Paterson (above).

Spire said the trust has to "explain its delay in informing the private sector of its concerns, allowing Ian Paterson to go on treating (and harming) private patients".

Last week the surgeon, who carried out unnecessary breast operations leaving victims scared and disfigured, had five years added to his jail sentence for his crimes.

Court of Appeal judges in London declared a "just" sentence of 20 years should replace the "unduly lenient" 15 years he was given in May.

Former Bangor Grammar pupil Paterson (59), from Altrincham in Greater Manchester, grew up in the seaside town.

The case against Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT), private health provider Spire Healthcare and Paterson will reach the High Court later this year.

A HEFT spokesman said the trial would determine if the trust had a legal duty of care for private patients who were cared for independently of the NHS.

"Spire also argues that while it had in place some clinical governance safeguards, it relied on the NHS, as the primary employer of such clinicians, to tell it whether doctors were competent or whether there were patient safety concerns.

"If this argument succeeds, it will significantly increase the scope of the NHS's liability to patients, some of whom it will have no relevant prior knowledge of. This attempt to wholly extend the duty of care owed by the NHS will be robustly defended," he said.

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