Will ex-colleagues of Ian Paterson who turned blind eye face justice?


Will ex-colleagues of Ian Paterson who turned blind eye face justice? Five healthcare professionals have been referred to watchdogs over butchering breast surgeon scandal

  • No former colleagues of the disgraced surgeon have been named in the probe
  • But five were reported to medical watchdogs – and one matter to the police 
  • They may finally face discipline over the scandal or face criminal charges

No former colleagues of the disgraced surgeon have been named in the probe but five have been reported to medical watchdogs – and one matter to the police.

The findings of inquiry chairman Bishop Graham James raise the prospect of them finally being disciplined over the Ian Paterson scandal or facing criminal charges.

The Rt Rev James said: ‘I did promise that if, during our work, we found healthcare professionals or others whom we believe should be investigated by their disciplinary bodies or the police, I would report them to the relevant authorities.

‘I have reported five healthcare professionals to either the General Medical Council (GMC) or the Nursing and Midwifery Council. In addition, I have referred one matter for investigation by the West Midlands Police since it seems to go beyond professional misconduct alone.’

The findings of inquiry chairman Bishop Graham James raise the prospect of former colleagues finally being disciplined over the Ian Paterson (pictured) scandal or facing criminal charges

He declined to give details of the allegations he has referred to health watchdogs and detectives, and his report was careful not to identify those now under close scrutiny.

But the language used in the inquiry report – with references to multiple ‘individual and organisational’ failures as well as ‘wilful blindness’ by colleagues who witnessed his conduct – is a warning to those who failed to halt Paterson’s malpractice earlier.

Mr James said: ‘While patients have been our focus, the impact that is described in this report has been enormous for many clinicians and others who either worked with Paterson or came into contact with him. Those who did take action but were then poorly served by those to whom they reported, have themselves been traumatised.

‘Some who should have taken action now live with the guilt. Others are in a state of denial.

‘Many patients felt that some of those who worked closely with Paterson should answer for their actions or negligence.’ 

The Right Rev Graham James, presented a report and its findings of the Ian Paterson inquiry today (pictured above, a person outside the building)

The Right Rev Graham James, presented a report and its findings of the Ian Paterson inquiry today (pictured above, a person outside the building)

The report revealed that four doctors who raised concerns about Paterson in 2007 were themselves subject later to investigation by the GMC, in order to determine their fitness to practise, since they had worked alongside Paterson.

It added: ‘While we understand that this was not as a direct result of them raising concerns about Paterson, there is a belief among some that becoming visible by raising concerns increased the likelihood of them coming under scrutiny and investigation.’

A breast cancer nurse who worked closely with Paterson, and who was suspected of malpractice, died in 2017.

In 2017 a Daily Mail investigation revealed an extraordinary series of blunders and missed warning signs meant Paterson’s malpractice carried on for 15 years.

Whistleblowers who tried to raise the alarm were not taken seriously or were ignored.

NHS bosses deemed protecting his reputation more important than addressing the medical needs of his patients, it was revealed.

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