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20th Aug, 2019

Private hospitals must do more to protect patients from rogue surgeons like Ian Paterson, says Royal College of Surgeons

Sarah Mason 10th Apr, 2019

PRIVATE hospitals must do more to protect patients and prevent rogue surgeons like Ian Paterson from harming anyone, says the Royal College of Surgeons.

Convicted breast surgeon Paterson, who worked at Heart of England NHS and Spire Parkway in Solihull and Spire Little Aston hospitals, was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent and sentenced to jail for 20 years in 2017.

An independent inquiry into his conduct is underway and has heard evidence from more than 150 patients.

Now surgeons are calling for the private sector to collect and publish the same level of patient safety data as the NHS.

Prof Derek Alderson, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: “The surgical community was deeply shocked by the case of Ian Paterson.

“While the vast majority of doctors perform their work to a high standard with the utmost care for their patients, the case of Ian Paterson highlights the need for an urgent review of how we assure safety standards in the independent sector.

“There is no doubt that Ian Paterson was a rogue individual.

“That said, the entire healthcare sector must do more to prevent someone like him from ever causing harm again.

“This starts with being able to collect and analyse good quality patient safety and outcomes data.

“There must be stronger oversight and protection for patients, regardless of whether they have their operation in an NHS hospital or in the independent sector.”

The Royal College of Surgeons is calling for:

• data to be collected on all new surgical procedures and devises used in the private or NHS sectors

• better sharing of information about a doctor’s performance between private and NHS sectors

• better monitoring of consultants’ practising arrangements

• private hospitals should collect and publish data on patient safety and clinical audits

• agreements between private hospitals and NHS trusts to provide critical care support if there are complications after an operation

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