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RCS response to independent national Inquiry following malpractice of Ian Paterson

07 Dec 2017

The Government has launched an independent national Inquiry following the malpractice of jailed surgeon Ian Paterson. The Government says the new independent Non-Statutory Inquiry will examine the circumstances and practices surrounding Ian Paterson’s malpractice to learn and share lessons. The Right Reverend Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, will chair the Inquiry. 

Responding to news of the Inquiry, Professor Derek Alderson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“Ian Paterson abused the trust placed in him by patients. He performed unproven and unacceptable operations on many women. What is also clear is that he was often working in isolation. Teamwork and shared decision making is now standard practice in healthcare but there is more that can be done to correct poor practice in both the NHS and private sectors. 

“It is right that the Government now moves forward with a review of the many issues raised by his criminal behaviour. No review can undo the terrible consequences of his actions but it is important that we leave no stone unturned to help prevent a similar situation from happening again. It is extremely important that the Government commits to finding the time to implement sensible recommendations, arising from this review, to improve patient safety.

“Alongside the Government’s review, the Royal College of Surgeons is also taking action. Over the summer we met with a number of organisations, including private providers, who are committed to working together to improve the collection and publication of data in the private sector. At present, minimal amounts of data are published independently by the private sector to verify patient safety and clinical outcomes. We will lead work to correct this situation. 

“Again, we extend our deepest sympathies to all patients that suffered at the hands of Ian Paterson’s.”


Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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