In May 2017, Ian Paterson was jailed for 20 years for carrying out unnecessary breast operations on many of his patients between 1997 and 2011. He was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent. Currently, the private or independent sector, does not have to publish data on how many and what procedures have been carried out - unlike the NHS. Had these reporting requirements been in place at the time that Mr Paterson was practising, it is likely that concerns about his conduct would have been identified at an earlier stage.

Whilst Professor Alderson, president of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), stated that Mr Paterson was a “rogue individual”, he has noted the importance of ensuring that individuals like him are unable to cause harm to others in the future. Professor Alderson said that Mr Paterson’s case highlighted the need for “an urgent review of how we assure safety standards in the independent sector.” Some of the changes that the RCS are calling for include;

  1. Private hospitals to collect and publish data on patient safety
  2. Data to be collected on all new surgical procedures and devices used in the private and NHS sectors
  3. Better sharing of information about a doctor’s performance between private and NHS sectors

Professor Alderson also noted that there needed to be a “…stronger oversight and protection for patients, regardless of whether they have their operation in an NHS hospital or in the independent sector”.

The need to protect patients in NHS hospitals as well is something that the Freeths’ Clinical Negligence team unfortunately know all too well: Karen Reynolds, partner of our Derby and Stoke on Trent offices is leading investigations on behalf of over 50 patients who suffered negligent treatment by former consultant maxillofacial surgeon, Roger Bainton. Mr Bainton carried out a number of unnecessary operations and experimental procedures whilst practicing at the Royal Stoke University Hospital between 2005 and 2013. He was suspended in 2013, subsequently dismissed and erased from the medical register by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal. Karen Reynolds, along with Naomi Solomon and Claire Cooper have obtained compensation for many who received negligent treatment whilst under the care of Mr Bainton. They are now working with the North Midlands NHS Trust to resolve the ongoing cases.

Naomi Solomon, Solicitor at Freeths LLP, said of Mr Bainton:

“Mr Bainton was able to work at the Royal Stoke Hospital for a considerable amount of time performing inappropriate and unnecessary procedures and using an unlicensed substance known as DBX for orbital surgery. Mr Bainton’s conduct was not properly monitored and arguably, had this been done, he would not have been able to cause harm to so many patients.” 

Freeths LLP Clinical Negligence solicitors have vast experience in claims arising from the malpractice of senior surgeons. If you are concerned about any treatment which you or a loved one have received, or are suffering complications following treatment performed by Mr Bainton (or the Maxillofacial team at the Royal Stoke Hospital) please contact our Stoke on Trent and Derby Clinical Negligence team:-

Karen Reynolds, Partner: 0845 272 5677 or karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

Claire Cooper, Solicitor: 0845 274 6830 or claire.cooper@freeths.co.uk

Naomi Solomon, Solicitor: 0845 030 5742 or naomi.solomon@freeths.co.uk

Alternatively, you can contact our National Team:

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) 0186 578 1019 carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester/Nottingham) on 0845 272 5724 jane.williams@freeths.co.uk

For further information about this news report please see the BBC website; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47867281

For further information about our team and how we may be able to help you, visit our website at: http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/clinical-negligence/