Ian Paterson: Surgeon wounded hundreds amid ‘culture of denial’

A culture of “avoidance and denial” allowed a breast surgeon to perform botched and unnecessary operations on hundreds of women, a report has found.

An independent inquiry into Ian Paterson’s malpractice has recommended the recall of his 11,000 patients for their treatment to be assessed.

Paterson is serving a 20-year jail term for 17 counts of wounding with intent.

One of Paterson’s colleagues has been referred to police and five more to health watchdogs by the inquiry.

Debbie Douglas, who underwent “needless” surgery while in Paterson’s care, said all of the report’s 15 recommendations must be implemented.

The disgraced breast surgeon worked with cancer patients at NHS and private hospitals in the West Midlands over 14 years.

‘The man is an absolute monster’

His unregulated “cleavage-sparing” mastectomies, in which breast tissue was left behind, meant the disease returned in many of his patients.

Others had surgery they did not need – some even finding out years later they did not have cancer.

Patients were let down by the healthcare system “at every level” said the inquiry chair, retired Bishop of Norwich the Rt Revd Graham James, who identified “multiple individual and organisational failures”.

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