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More inquests open into deaths of patients of breast surgeon Ian Paterson


Inquests into the deaths of a further 10 patients of jailed breast surgeon Ian Paterson have been opened and adjourned.

Paterson is currently serving a 20-year sentence after he carried out unnecessary or unapproved procedures on more than 1,000 breast cancer patients.

The coroner, judge Richard Foster, said he "had reason to believe" substandard care had caused or contributed to the deaths of the 10 women. So far 48 inquests have been opened.

Mr Foster said he expected there would be "about 70 or 80 live inquests to deal with" when substantive hearings start in October 2024.

Before opening each inquest, Mr Foster said: "Following a review of this case by a multi-disciplinary team, I have reason to believe that the deceased's death was caused or contributed to by sub-standard treatment provided by Mr Paterson, and other clinicians involved in the care of the deceased."

Paterson worked at Spire Parkway Hospital and Spire Little Aston Hospital in the West Midlands between 1997 and 2011, as well as NHS hospitals run by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

He was jailed in 2017 after being convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent, after he was found to have carried out needless operations on his patients.

He also carried out unapproved "cleavage-sparing mastectomies" and, rather than removing the whole breast, left tissue behind.

A report by the Heart of England Trust in 2017, when Paterson was jailed, found that 675 of his 1,206 mastectomy patients had died.

An independent inquiry found he had been free to perform harmful surgery in NHS and private hospitals due to "a culture of avoidance and denial" in a healthcare system where there was "wilful blindness" to his behaviour.”

The ages of the 10 women named at the Birmingham and Solihull Coroner's Court hearing ranged from 29 to 85.

The coroner adjourned each inquest until full hearings, which are due to start on 7 October 2024 and are expected to last up to 11 months.

The next-of-kin of former patients have been asked to come forward and contact the solicitors to the inquests by using the coroner's Paterson investigation website.