A SURVIVORS support group set up for former patients of rogue consultant breast surgeon Ian Paterson met in Knowle on Saturday (February 1) – ahead of this week’s independent inquiry report into the case.
It follows the “anxiety-provoking” news that West Midlands Police has asked the Birmingham and Solihull Coroner to review 23 cases where patients previously treated by Paterson later died from breast cancer.
Organiser Sarah Jane Downing, an author and former Paterson patient, who had surgery at Spire Parkway in 1988, met with other survivors at The Greswolde Arms Hotel in Knowle Solihull.
She said: “The news that the coroner is reviewing 23 of Paterson’s cases is quite shocking, distressing and very anxiety-provoking.”
The meeting takes place in advance of the publication of a report by an independent inquiry into Paterson’s malpractice due to be published tomorrow (Tuesday February 4).
Paterson, who worked at Spire hospitals in Little Aston and Solihull, and at the NHS Solihull Hospital, was convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and jailed for 15 years in April 2017.
On January 24, Birmingham and Solihull Coroner Louise Hunt’s office released the following statement:
“West Midlands Police have asked the Birmingham and Solihull Coroner to review a number of cases where patients have died from breast cancer and who were previously treated by Mr Paterson.
“Mr Paterson was convicted of the assault of a number of his patients as he was found to have been undertaking breast operations that did not confirm to approved standards.
“The Senior Coroner Mrs Louise Hunt and the Area Coroner Ms Emma Brown are jointly carrying out a preliminary investigation into the cases under section 1(7) of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
“The preliminary investigation is to identify whether there is any evidence that gives reason to suspect that any of the former patients of Mr Paterson have died an unnatural death as a result of his potentially substandard treatment.
“These preliminary investigations will take some time due to the volume of patients and complexity of the cases. As a starting point the Birmingham and Solihull coroners have selected 23 cases at random to investigate in more detail to try to understand whether the required legal threshold will be met. With assistance from “West Midlands Police, we have tried to locate and notify the families of the women selected for the 23 test cases and our enquiries in this regard are ongoing.
“We understand that this will cause anxiety for a lot of families and we would ask at this stage that families do not contact us.
“We have set up a website which contains some useful information about what is happening and would ask that you refer to that website: www.coronerspatersoninvestigation.org ”
Higgs & Sons solicitors have been appointed to assist the coroner in these preliminary investigations.
Anyone who is in need of further information you should contact them at [email protected] or on 01384 327113.