Ministers accused of ‘knowingly exposing’ patients to risk after partial response to Paterson scandal


Ministers have been accused of “knowingly exposing” NHS and private patients to safety risks after delaying again a full response to the inquiry into the Ian Paterson scandal.

Victims of rogue surgeon Ian Paterson, who was jailed in 2017 for carrying out unnecessary surgery on patients, told The Independent there was a “clear and present danger” of similar crimes being committed without urgent action being taken.

On Tuesday, the government released a partial response to an independent inquiry, led by Reverend Graham James, which reported in February last year. It revealed Paterson was able to carry out unnecessary surgery on more than 1,000 patients over a 14 year period due to a “dysfunctional” health system and the wilful blindness of managers.

The government response addressed only three recommendations directly with ministers promising a full response later this year.

David Rowland, director at the Centre for Health and the Public Interest criticised the lack of action as the NHS sends more patients to private hospitals in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As many as three million NHS patients may have been treated privately, a figure which could grow as the NHS tackles huge backlogs in coming months.



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