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Ian Paterson: Breast op victims 'disappointed' at inquiry delay

Ian Paterson Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Paterson is serving a 20-year sentence for wounding patients he treated in the West Midlands

Victims of disgraced breast surgeon Ian Paterson say a decision to delay the findings of an independent inquiry until after the election is "disappointing and difficult".

Paterson is serving a 20-year sentence for carrying out unnecessary cancer operations on patients.

Publication of the report has been postponed until the New Year, the inquiry team said.

It is the second delay as it was due in the summer, Thompsons Solicitors said.

The report was then to be out before the end of 2019. However, as the general election was announced and Parliament must be sitting for the inquiry to report, publication has been put back, the team said.

Former patient Sarah Jane Downing, who underwent surgery in 1998 after she found a lump, but discovered Paterson removed perfectly healthy breast tissue, criticised the inquiry's delay.

"We are told that a new publication date in early January will be given but there must be a risk that it either gets buried under or delayed by the upheaval of Brexit," she said.

"When you consider that the first survivors reported what Paterson had done to them in 2012, we have been living with this for a horrifically long time and to have to wait longer still is disappointing and difficult."

Another former patient, Debbie Douglas, added: "The time has been ticking for answers and the delay is another blow."

Paterson, from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, treated hundreds of patients in the private sector at Little Aston and Parkway Hospitals, run by Spire Healthcare, in the West Midlands between 1997 and 2011.

He was originally jailed for 15 years for 17 counts of wounding with intent and three of unlawful wounding, but his sentence was later increased to 20 years.

About 750 victims of Paterson secured compensation from a new £37m fund in 2017.

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