The disgraced surgeon, Mr Ian Paterson, was jailed last week for 15 years after carrying out unnecessary cancer operations.
He was convicted of 10 charges in relation to operations on nine women and one man. In all, there appears to have been hundreds, if not thousands, of victims. Compensation of almost £10 million has been paid to his victims already, but that figure is set to increase dramatically as over 600 private patients are all commencing legal action against him later this year.
His motivation for these crimes was not clear, even after a lengthy Court hearing. The motives though, may have included a desire to earn extra money.
Whilst sentencing, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said “In pursuit of your own material rewards, you lost sight of what you were doing. Without any regards for the long-term effects, you deliberately preyed on their long term fears. You can be a charming and charismatic individual but you deliberately used those characteristics to manipulate you patients.”
Several of the victims described him as a “monster” and a “criminal who committed grotesque, violent acts”.
According to solicitor, Mr Simon Ramshaw, one of the most worrying features of this case is that complaints had been made about Paterson for a number of years but Managers at the NHS trust that employed him “preferred good news to true news” according to a report published in 2013. Simon went on to say that Paterson was allowed to continue operating on women despite serious concerns having been raised about him by other staff, the report by lawyer Sir Ian Kennedy found.
Simon would echo the view of Charlie Massey, Chief Executive and Registrar of the GMC, that Paterson’s crimes were “deeply shocking acts that betrayed patient’s trust”.
Overall, Simon would urge patients not to unduly worry about this. These were the actions of one surgeon who is now not involved in treating patients. It is highly unlikely that such events will ever happen again.
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