Latest NewsFriday 15 September 2017
Victims of disgraced breast surgeon to receive £37 million compensation
In a landmark case, some 750 private patients operated on by the rogue cancer surgeon Ian Paterson are to be paid compensation from a new £37m fund. Private healthcare firm Spire Healthcare has agreed to pay £27.2m to victims, with £10m coming from Paterson's insurers and the Heart of England NHS Trust.
Paterson was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court in April. In August, his 15-year jail term was increased to 20 years after the Appeal Court ruled the initial term was too lenient.
“This is a terrible case and people are left astonished as to how long it all went on for,” says David Black, who as a specialist in clinical negligence at Swindon Accident Solicitors has been helping victims for more than 25 years. “Mr Paterson’s victims will deserve every penny they get from their claims.”
Around 750 private patients will receive a total of £37.2 million for the physical and psychological pain they suffered undergoing unnecessary treatment. The payments concern patients treated at private Spire Healthcare hospitals in the West Midlands.
Paterson’s victims fall into two camps. Those who underwent unnecessary surgery, and those who needed operations but were left prone to cancer returning because of the rogue technique he used. The surgeon’s trial heard how he exaggerated his patients’ cancer symptoms, leading them to have several needless operations which left them scarred for life physically and emotionally.
Around 270 NHS patients received an average compensation payment of £62,815 each earlier this year, from a total settlement of £17.4m. That compares to an average compensation payment of £49,600 for each of Paterson’s 750 private patients towards the long term costs of therapy and treatment.
Patients are angry it took Spire months to make their settlement offer. The firm – the second largest provider of private healthcare in the UK, with an operating income of £108m last year – had argued until now that because it did not directly ‘employ’ the surgeon it should not be held responsible for his actions.
"Paterson’s victims have waited too long to find out whether they would be compensated for the suffering he caused them,” says David Black, who is on the Law Society’s panel of accredited and specialist Solicitors for both Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence work. “We hope this settlement will send a message to other private healthcare providers that patient safety must be their priority.”
“At Swindon Accident Solicitors we have handled hundreds of successful clinical negligence cases, securing claims ranging from a few thousand pounds to more than a million depending on the gravity of the case. Making an enquiry costs nothing and we would be pleased to try and help you if you have been the victim of negligence.”
Swindon Accident Solicitors offer a FREE initial consultation to establish if you have a justifiable claim. Please contact us today on 01793 425595 to arrange an appointment with one of our friendly lawyers.