Poor patient safety in private medical institutions – regulation reform is inevitable

  • May 19, 2017
  • The recent trial of Ian Paterson has no doubt raised concerns around the safety regulations that are actually implemented within Private hospitals in the UK.

    Ian Paterson, a surgeon previously practicing in Spire Hospitals in the West Midlands was convicted in March this year for unlawfully wounding multiple patients whilst in his care. Ian Patterson will be sentenced in June this year.

    Ian Patterson performed a number of breast surgeries between 1997 and 2011, when in fact they were unnecessary and/or inappropriate. This is an extreme example of how the public’s trust in a professional body, here, the patient doctor relationship can be wholly abused.

    With alarm bells ringing, the Royal College of Surgeons has stated that thorough investigations need to be carried out across the private medical sector to test how private clinics, such as the ones Ian Paterson practiced in are regulated.

    Unfortunately, this case has proved that the current patient safety regulations in place in private clinics are not up to standard. Clearly additional measures are required.

    Clare Marx, president of the Royal College of Surgeons said ‘Ian Patterson’s actions and behaviour is appalling, and we must do everything in our power to prevent such a violation being repeated.’

    It can be agreed that as a starting point, many private clinics should adopt some of the rational procedures, such as reporting any unforeseen deaths and serious injuries in the same way as the NHS does.


    Adam Hodson, Associate Solicitor

    Adam Hodson, Solicitor at the Medical Accident Group says, “The extent of Ian Patterson’s malpractice is deplorable, and the fact that it went on for a number of years undetected is equally as shocking. This case clearly shows that stringent regulations need to be adhered to, both in the public and private sectors. Patients need to have confidence that sufficient safeguards are in place to ensure they are kept safe from harm – whether receiving NHS or private treatment. ”

    We act for a number of Mr Paterson’s former patients and are pursuing clinical negligence claims against him and the private and NHS hospitals involved. Please contact our Ally Taft for further information.

    As an experienced local Worcester and Birmingham based firm, we have managed to secure an award of compensation for many clients who have experienced poor and negligent treatment from GPs and hospitals, irrespective of whether the treatment was carried out in a private or publicly funded clinic. If you have suffered from poor treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors, with over 30 years’ experience, who will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668 or email us at info@medicalaccidentgroup.co.uk.

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