Breast care services at Solihull Hospital to be reviewed

Wednesday 09 January 2013 Updated: 09/01 13:48

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Ian Paterson. (s)

THE man who headed the review into children’s services in the NHS following the death of Baby P has been appointed to lead a review into breast care services at Solihull Hospital in the wake of the Ian Paterson scandal.

Sir Ian Kennedy has been chosen by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust to chair the independent review.

Surgeon Mr Paterson was suspended last year by the General Medical Council (GMC) after he was accused of performing unnecessary operations, some of which included the use of the unapproved cleavage sparing technique which leaves some breast tissue behind after surgery, significantly increasing the risk to patients.

The review, which began today (Wednesday), will examine the timeline of events, the trust’s response to concerns raised by staff, patients and the public and whether the actions taken in response were appropriate and carried out in a timely manner.

Dr Aresh Anwar, medical director at Solihull Hospital, said: “It was very important to us to make sure, first of all, that all the patients concerned were seen and had their care reviewed and this is what we have been focusing on over the past 12 months.

“Now that this is completed we have, as promised, asked an experienced independent chair to look at the actions this organisation took, to see if there are lessons to be learned about how to raise concerns into clinical practice and how to take appropriate action.”

Sir Ian previously chaired the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry into children’s heart surgery and is currently chairman of the Independent Parliamentary and Standards Authority (IPSA) which monitors and controls MPs’ expenses, pay and pensions.

He said: “I am delighted to take up this commission and I am keen to talk to patients and staff as part of the evidence gathering process.

“I urge anyone who would like to talk to me about their specific experience to come forward.

“We have set up a dedicated website to keep everyone informed throughout the review process.”

A report is expected to be completed in summer 2013 which will contain recommendations to the trust’s board.

Earlier this week Meriden MP Caroline Spelman supported patients’ calls for an inquiry.

She said: “While the police are continuing to investigate matters, I think it inappropriate to make a further statement on Mr Paterson but in principle I think a public inquiry would be a welcome step in finding answers for so many women and it would help to prevent unwanted or unsuitable surgery in future cases.”

Mrs Spelman said any constituents concerned about the issue can contact her by emailing or writing to her at 631 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 1AR.

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