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Why has Spire Healthcare recalled 1500 patients?



Fri 3 February 2023 Why has Spire Healthcare recalled 1500 patients?

Ian Paterson, Breast Surgeon  has been in the news again this week as Spire Healthcare recall a further 1500 patients that had been treated by the surgeon between 1993 and the early 2000s.

Nisha Sharma, Partner in our Clinical Negligence department discusses the importance of the recall.


Spire healthcare have discovered via the result of an old database being uncovered that that patients treated by Mr Paterson two decades ago might have had inappropriate or unnecessary treatment at the hands of the infamous surgeon. 

Mr Paterson is currently in prison serving a 20-year sentence after being prosecuted for wounding with intent and unlawful wounding. These sentences were passed after Mr Paterson was investigated by the police and the General Medical Council (GMC) for operating on hundreds of breast cancer patients.

Often Paterson was found to have been performing operations which were completely unnecessary and also for carrying out mastectomies incorrectly, leaving behind dangerous breast tissue which should have been removed, characterising the operation as ‘cleavage sparing’. Hundreds of patients succeeded in obtaining compensation for the negligent treatment they had received.

It is extremely disappointing to see that the Spire have uncovered this additional information at this late stage which indicates that their initial investigation did not go far enough.

 I have dealt with many claims for women treated by Mr Paterson and the patients who have recently received a letter from Spire, will no doubt feel anxious and confused. However, patients should  remember receiving a letter does not necessarily mean that the treatment you received was wrong or that you are at an increased risk but of course, this is a real possibility, and it is likely that some of the patients will need further investigation and or treatment.

There is a good chance that some of these patients have received substandard treatment and the implications of this could be serious.

In addition, I imagine it is difficult to take advice from an organisation which has failed so many of Mr Paterson’s patients as Mr Paterson worked freely at Spire for many years before being found out. These patients need independent advise, whether that is legal advise or from an independent medical team for their peace of mind and to try and make sense of what they are being told.

If there are any patients who wish to seek legal advise about making a claim for compensation or simply want to know their options, they are encouraged to get in touch.

If you have been affected by the information above or would like to contact Nisha Sharma by clicking the ‘contact us’ button to email her directly or call Nisha on 01274 447874 at our Hove Office. For more information about our Clinical Negligence team, please click here.

Nisha Sharma is a ranked Lawyer within The Legal 500 (2021 and 2022). The Legal 500 states: ‘Nisha Sharma is an excellent and dedicated solicitor in her field. She is the complete package, with a clear mastery of the law, facts, quantum and negotiating. She has a sharp insight into tricky legal issues.’


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Modern law awards winner 2023
Law Society Conveyancing Quality
The British Conveyancing Awards - Rebecca Kelly
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ISO 27001
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LEAP Modern Law Conveyancing Awards
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