Regarding the surgeon Ian Paterson, recently convicted for undertaking clinically pointless surgery

Chrisjr75 made this Freedom of Information request to General Medical Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear General Medical Council,

The surgeon Ian Paterson was recently convicted for undertaking clinically pointless, medically unnecessary and wholly unjustified surgery.

Please supply ALL information relating to:

1. When the GMC first became aware of concerns over his work.

2. Any steps the GMC has taken against him, along with the dates of said action.

3. Any and all other examples in the GMC's knowledge of a surgeon performing clinically pointless and medically unnecessary surgery or procedures on patients, either in respect of the whole surgery or as part of it; along with the dates and details of any sanction imposed.

Yours faithfully,

Chrisjr75

FOI, General Medical Council

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Jenny Davis (0161 240 8178), General Medical Council

Dear Chrisjr75

 

Your information request – F17/8871/EH

Thank you for your email dated 8 May 2017, in which you ask for
information about Dr Ian Paterson.

 

How we will consider your request

 

We’re going to consider your request under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (FOIA). The FOIA gives us 20 working days to respond, but we’ll come
back to you as soon as we can.

 

Who to contact

 

Elizabeth Hiley will be handling your request. If you have any questions
you can call her on 0161 923 6314 or email her at
[1][email address].

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jenny Davis

Information Access Assistant

[2][email address]

0161 240 8178

 

General Medical Council

3 Hardman Street

Manchester

M3 3AW

 

Working with doctors Working for patients

The General Medical Council helps to protect patients and improve medical
education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and
doctors. We support them in achieving (and exceeding) those standards, and
take action when they are not met.

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Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314), General Medical Council

Our reference: F17/8871/EH

Dear Chrisjr75

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In answer to your queries:

1. Our records show that the first time he was brought to our attention was in 2007 in relation to a complaint against another doctor. The first complaint we received in relation to Mr Paterson himself was from a patient in November 2010.

2. Details regarding the restrictions imposed on Mr Paterson’s registration are available on our online List of Registered Medical Practitioners. You can access the register at http://www.gmc-uk.org/doctors/register/L.... Mr Paterson’s GMC number is 2703453.

3. You have asked for any other examples of surgeons performing 'clinically pointless and medically unnecessary surgery'. Mr Paterson was convicted of wounding with intent and unlawful wounding. A conviction of this nature is distinct from cases where a doctor has, for example, carried out a procedure that was not in fact clinically indicated, but was carried out as a result of errors or inadequacies in their prior decision-making and/or investigations. We are able to electronically search our records from April 2006 and have therefore searched for any allegations proven at a hearing involving a conviction of this specific nature (and involving surgery) against a patient. We have not located any such instances from that date. The regulatory process in respect of Mr Paterson is not yet concluded so he is not included here.

If you have any queries regarding this request please contact me.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Hiley
Information Access Officer
General Medical Council

Telephone: 0161 923 6314
Email: [email address]

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Dear Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314),

Thanks for your reply.

Can you clarify in any way why he was brought to your attention in 2007 in relation to the other doctor, please?

I found this on your site in relation to Paterson:

Fitness to practise history since 20 October 2005
From To Status
16 Jun 2016 Interim suspended View
16 Jun 2015 16 Jun 2016 Interim suspended View
03 Jan 2015 16 Jun 2015 Interim suspended View
04 Jan 2014 03 Jan 2015 Interim suspended View
05 Jan 2013 04 Jan 2014 Interim suspended View
29 Oct 2012 05 Jan 2013 Interim suspended View
06 Jul 2011 29 Oct 2012 This doctor had interim conditions View
Registration and licensing history since 20 October 2005
From To Status
16 Jun 2016 Suspended
16 Jun 2015 16 Jun 2016 Suspended
03 Jan 2015 16 Jun 2015 Suspended
04 Jan 2014 03 Jan 2015 Suspended
05 Jan 2013 04 Jan 2014 Suspended
29 Oct 2012 05 Jan 2013 Suspended
16 Nov 2009 29 Oct 2012 Registered with a licence to practise
20 Oct 2005 (explain this) 16 Nov 2009 Registered
Hearings
Date Hearing
29 Oct 2012 Interim Orders Panel Details
06 Jul 2011 Interim Orders Panel Details

What I find interesting is that there was a period of around 8 months from when you first received a complaint against him to when you imposed sanctions on him in July 2011.

And even then these were the only sanctions imposed:

06 Jul 2011 29 Oct 2012
1. He must notify the GMC promptly of any professional appointment he accepts for which registration with the GMC is required and provide the contact details of his employer.
Details
2. He must allow the GMC to exchange information with his employer or any organisation for which he provides medical services.
3. He must inform the GMC of any formal disciplinary proceedings taken against him, from the date of this determination.
4. He must inform the GMC if he applies for medical employment outside the UK.
5. He must not carry out breast surgery.
6. He must confine his medical practice, either in the NHS or privately, to a. general surgery work, b. out-patient consultations with patients with breast disease.
7. He must inform the following parties that his registration is subject to the conditions, listed at (1) to (6), above: a. Any organisation or person employing or contracting with him to undertake medical work b. Any locum agency he is registered with or applies to be registered with (at the time of application) c. In the case of locum appointments, his immediate line manager at his place of work (at least 24 hours before starting work) d. Any prospective employer or contracting body (at the time of application)

It therefore seems that it wasn't until October 2012, which was almost two years after you first became aware of concerns about him, that he was stopped from treating people in any capacity.

Is that correct, please? Did he still treat patients during that time?

If so, that strikes me as appalling negligence by the GMC to be so slow and inadequate in acting against him.

But then, as the GMC ignored my complaint against this surgeon who wounded me unlawfully, I can't say I'm surprised: http://gmcabuse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/g...

Perhaps if the GMC had listened to me regarding Nasser they may have been quicker to act with Paterson.

I will ask the police to investigate my Nasser case. Maybe now that Paterson has been convicted they'll believe me. I don't believe there are any time bars to it in criminal terms. Nasser continues to practise.

I will raise my case with the Paterson Inquiry that the Conservatives plan to hold.

Yours sincerely,

Chrisjr75

Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314), General Medical Council

Dear Chrisjr75

Thank you for your email.

I will reply to you as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Hiley
Information Access Officer
General Medical Council

Telephone: 0161 923 6314
Email: [email address]

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Dear Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314),

Thank you.

It seems he didn't treat any patients after June 2011. I quote from the linked article ( https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017... ):

"2011 Parkway are informed that Paterson carried out a cleavage-sparing mastectomy in 2009 after being told to stop in January 2008. A month later, the GMC informed Spire about another patient complaint. A recall of all Paterson’s patients begins.

Paterson is suspended by the NHS in May but continues to perform breast surgery for Spire until 31 May and general surgery until 8 June. He is paid until November 2012."

But that was still 8 months from when the GMC were first in receipt of a complaint against Paterson. And then Paterson was paid for another year even if he didn't work.

Had the GMC not fought tooth and nail to bury my Nasser complaint without even an investigation, they might have been in a position to act far more swiftly when Paterson was brought to their attention.

A perverse irony is that during the 8 month period that the GMC were investigating Paterson before imposing sanctions, they were defending against my judicial review concerning their whitewash report of Nasser by the surgeon Mr John Devine.

Meanwhile Nasser still operates on patients. Who knows what he may be getting away with. What I do know for sure is that he performed clinically pointless surgical incisions on me in a delusional game of pretence that have left me quite prominently scarred for life, by scars which were very prominent for years. And I know he did it to others as well.

I doubt the GMC has heard the last of my case. Questions need to be asked regarding the GMC's handling of Nasser in light of Paterson.

Yours sincerely,

Chrisjr75

Dear Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314),

This is a rhetorical email. Now that I've posted on this site I might as well clarify my position.

I may cancel my appointment with the police regarding Nasser. People still ask me what my scars are from but I don't want to fight past battles. Except that now I might be able to get answers, and might regret it if I don't. Maybe I'll inform the Paterson Inquiry when that happens and leave it at that. I don't know, there is no easy choice.

I'm not comparing what happened to me with the scale of butchery by Paterson. Nonetheless it was a nightmare to experience and come to terms with. What Nasser did was without doubt a crime, and I researched it extensively.

I've had around 15 patients of Nasser email me over the years. One woman almost died on the operating table because Nasser was negligent in operating on her after she'd given some kind of dangerous result to a test before surgery that should have made him cancel. There were plenty of horror stories.

As far as I'm concerned the GMC is as equally guilty of abusing me as Nasser is, for what they put me through with their discrimination and victimisation.

And how many patients did the GMC fail while they took 8 months investigating Paterson? A lot, no doubt. Would they have taken so long investigating Paterson had they already established with my Nasser complaint that surgeons can unlawfully wound patients with their scalpels? I doubt it.

That said, I don't blame the GMC FOI department for anything. In fact the people I contacted there years ago were helpful and reasonable. Unlike Jackie Smith, Graeme Catto, Paul Philip et al.

Yours sincerely,

Chrisjr75

Ann Williams left an annotation ()

Just to say the failures of the GMC in this case have all the hallmarks of corrupt Freemasons in the GMC colluding with one of their Brothers, ie Paterson. It could be your Nasser doctor was another of The Brothers. This would explain the cover up.

Bear in mind that mass murderer Dr Harold Shipman, was only struck off the medical register after he was convicted. The failures of the GMC in his case resulted in very many deaths of his patients at his hands. Shipman was a Freemason, hence the continuing cover up and failures of the GMC.

Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314), General Medical Council

Dear Chrisjr75

The 2007 complaint concerned another doctor so no details are available. It wasn’t until 2010 that the concerns leading to his conviction were raised with us.

To clarify, we attempted to restrict his practice straight away, but the panel we made our case to was swayed by statements from his employer that his practice was not outside the accepted range. We then sought our own evidence from clinical experts who said his work was seriously below expected standards. That enabled us to apply to a second interim orders panel and in July 2011 he was stopped from doing any further breast surgery.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Hiley
Information Access Officer
General Medical Council

Telephone: 0161 923 6314
Email: [email address]

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Dear Elizabeth Hiley (0161 923 6314),

Thanks for the information.

I'm afraid that is a very poor excuse for the GMC allowing Paterson to practice for the many months between the GMC first receiving a complaint against him and when it first imposed sanctions.

If the GMC was genuinely concerned enough to restrict Paterson's practice straight away, why didn't it commission evidence from clinical experts on an urgent and emergency basis?

Instead the GMC allowed many months to pass.

Many patients suffered at the hands of a criminal surgeon in significant part because the GMC failed to act swiftly enough when it had concerns about him.

And as for Nasser, it has failed to act at all.

I will inform the Paterson Inquiry of this precedent for the GMC's negligence when the Inquiry eventually convenes.

Yours sincerely,

Chrisjr75