Breast surgeon settlement ‘not likely to be enough’

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Sep 14, 2017
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Ian Paterson was convicted of 17 charges of wounding with intent

Joe Giddens/PA

A settlement from a private healthcare company after a breast surgeon was convicted of wounding with intent is likely to be “less than the victims need”, lawyers said yesterday.

Some 750 patients treated by Ian Paterson will receive a share of a compensation package worth £37 million. About £27 million of that will be contributed by Spire Healthcare.

The deal is designed to head off legal action as more than 500 of Paterson’s former private patients are due to begin High Court proceedings next month.

However, lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, the national firm acting for more than 30 of Paterson’s former patients, said that it had concerns over the deal. It said “there are still questions regarding the redress that private healthcare patients have if they are the victims of negligent medical treatment”.

The firm acknowledged that Spire had set aside “a significant sum” for the settlement, but nonetheless described the figure as “likely to be less than the amount that the patients affected need”.

It added: “There are also medical negligence victims who have found that indemnity insurance does not cover their private doctor when things have gone wrong. This is still a grey area and many people wrongly believe they will be better protected under private care than under the NHS.”

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