Two nurses referred to NMC as part of rogue breast surgeon inquiry

The Paterson Inquiry looked into the malpractice of a rogue surgeon and also found failings in the healthcare system affecting patient safety

The Paterson Inquiry looked into the malpractice of a rogue surgeon and also found failings in the healthcare system affecting patient safety 

Picture: Alamy

Two nurses have been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) after an inquiry into rogue surgeon Ian Paterson.

The consultant breast surgeon carried out unnecessary operations in NHS and private hospitals, exaggerating or inventing cancer risks and claiming payments for more expensive procedures.

He is currently serving a 20-year jail term for 17 counts of wounding with intent.

Inquiry finds healthcare system has a culture of 'avoidance and denial'

The Paterson Inquiry, which published its findings on Tuesday (4 February) after hearing 181 accounts from former patients, said it found a healthcare system that was dysfunctional at almost every level and had a culture of 'avoidance and denial'.

As part of the inquiry's terms of reference, it was able to refer people who it considered to have committed a 'disciplinary or criminal offence' to the relevant authorities.

Two people have been referred to the NMC, three to the General Medical Council and another case has been referred to West Midlands Police.

Patient safety must be regulators' top priority

The Paterson Inquiry also criticised the current health and social care regulatory system, saying it does not come together effectively to keep patients safe. 

It has recommended the government ensure that the current system of regulation and collaboration of the regulators has patient safety as its top priority.

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said the regulator was in contact with the inquiry team over the two referrals and is considering whether it needs to take any regulatory action.

Responding to the report, she added: 'We are committed to working with our fellow regulators and employers to improve our approach for the benefit of everyone using services and working in health and social care.

'We will consider the report and its recommendations very carefully to understand what more we need to do so that better, safer care can thrive.'

Mr Paterson was employed by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust but had practising privileges in the independent sector at Spire Parkway and Spire Little Aston in Birmingham.

In September 2017, more than 750 of his patients received compensation payouts from a £37 million fund.

Chair describes impact of Paterson's actions on colleagues

Paterson Inquiry chair the Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, said that while patients have been the focus, the impact had been enormous for many clinicians and others who either worked with Mr Paterson or came into contact with him.

'Those who did take action but were then poorly served by those to whom they reported, have themselves been traumatised,' he added.

'Some who should have taken action now live with the guilt. Others are in a state of denial.

'Many patients felt that some of those who worked closely with Paterson should answer for their actions or negligence.'

Further information

Paterson Inquiry Report

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