The report of the Independent Inquiry into the issues raised by the former breast surgeon Ian Paterson was published on 4 February 2020. It describes significant failures in the ability of the healthcare system to detect and protect patients from the consequences of Paterson’s malpractice.
The report contains fifteen recommendations, some of which go to the heart of our regulatory system and the performance management of healthcare professionals. Government Ministers undertook to study these recommendations in detail and provide Parliament with a full response within a few months of the report’s publication or indeed within three months if that was appropriate.
Our action to tackle the COVID-19 crisis has unfortunately diverted resources from this work which has had to be put on hold for the present time. This will inevitably lead to a delay in the Government’s formal, written response.
I would like to assure Parliament and the public that we will resume our focus on the Government’s response as soon as these unprecedented circumstances are behind us. Also, that we remain committed to implementing considered and effective improvements in the areas set out in the Inquiry’s recommendations.
In the meantime, we will continue to talk to NHS England and NHS Improvement and Spire Healthcare about the current and ongoing care of patients treated by Paterson.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords