It has been revealed that the NHS whistleblower who helped convict butcher surgeon Ian Paterson faced sacking after questioning the reckless treatment of women whose lives were ultimately ruined. Dr. Paterson misdiagnosed cancer in healthy patients and performed harmful surgery, including unregulated ‘cleavage-sparing’ mastectomies, on these individuals. In 2017, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent.
When Paterson was not serving as the chief surgeon at Spire Healthcare’s private hospitals in Birmingham, he was ably assisted by his longtime breast nurse Bethan Lloyd Owen. Breast surgeon Hemant Ingle has revealed to the Mail on Sunday for the first time that he attempted to challenge Paterson ten years before he was finally jailed in 2017 for his role in exposing one of the biggest medical scandals in the United Kingdom. After becoming alarmed by the senior consultant’s use of inappropriate reconstruction surgery and partial mastectomies that left breast tissue in place, Ingle became concerned about the safety of patients. Later, some of the patients died.
“He [Patterson] would drive through the [hospital] meeting and say the treatment will be like This. But many times I felt he was unnecessarily advising patients for reconstructive surgery. We fought at almost every meeting.”
While on vacation, Patterson asked Ingle to perform breast reconstruction surgery on one of his patients—despite her medical records showing no signs of cancer. Ingle’s suspicions were confirmed. In light of recent reports claiming Patterson stands to make an additional $100,000 annually from the lawsuit on top of his $100,000 NHS salary, he has come to believe Patterson was acting solely out of greed. Two colleagues assisted Ingle in writing eight letters to senior NHS managers in 2007, alerting them to Ingle’s concerns and Patterson’s bullying of coworkers. Patterson allegedly threatened to oust him if he continued to complain, according to the claims.
An internal investigation found that Patterson performed an incomplete mastectomy, increasing the patient’s risk of cancer recurrence, and prescribing an inappropriate breast reconstruction. There was, however, little reaction. The NHS and a private hospital allowed Patterson to continue breast and general surgery for a short period of time before he was suspended from both the NHS and private practice in 2011. He had already performed more than 1,000 unnecessary or botched surgeries, including on children under the age of 18. The majority of his breast-cancer patients had died by 2017.