Bodies of Evidence: The Butcher Surgeon 12 June 2022: Sunday on ITV
“This is probably one of the biggest medical scandals ever to have hit this country. There have been thousands and thousands of patients affected but also their family members as well.” David Rowland, Director, Centre for Health and Public Interest
Bodies of Evidence: The Butcher Surgeon uncovers the shocking story of Ian Paterson and his victims.
Ian Paterson was a Birmingham-based breast surgeon consultant, with patients describing him as ‘God’ and a ‘rock star’ but he was hiding a dark secret.
Mr Paterson was diagnosing cancer when there wasn’t any and cutting his patients open for no reason, performing unnecessary and damaging surgery.
In this documentary for ITV’s Bafta-winning Exposure strand, his victims detail their scarily similar experiences with the consultant and the impact his fear mongering and surgery left on them.
For the first time a key whistleblower speaks exclusively to ITV Exposure, Mr Hemant Ingle, detailing the steps he took to expose Mr Paterson and these extraordinary crimes.
Mr Hemant Ingle worked as an NHS junior consultant at Solihull Hospital in 2007 and later alongside Ian Paterson in the private sector at Spire. Ingle was crucial in the reporting and investigation of Paterson and did not stop until he was brought to justice.
One of his victims, Carole Johnson, was unnecessarily operated on by Paterson seven times. She said: “He’d stopped me from getting cancer. He was like God to me.”
The Birmingham-based consultant struck fear into all of his patients, including his patient Patient Nicky Craig. Nicky said: “He put the fear into me for the entire time that I had to keep going back to have the examinations”.
Ian Paterson was put on trial in 2017 for 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding. He was convicted and is now serving a 20 year sentence.
Debbie Douglas, a former patient, is still campaigning against the treatment of the victims and how Paterson was able to ruin thousands of lives. Debbie said: “I really want to know, how did he get away with it? How was he allowed to work for 20 years harming people?”
With the investigation into Ian Paterson still on-going, fresh evidence has emerged that some of Paterson’s patients may have died an unnatural death as a result of his actions. The Birmingham and Solihull Coroner have opened seven inquests and say they are in the middle of a “huge investigation involving hundreds of patients”.
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust which now runs Solihull Hospital, said: “The Trust wholly condemns Paterson’s actions between 1993 and 2011 and the actions, inaction, culture, and poor governance surrounding decisions made by Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, who we merged with in 2018, during that time. Too many patients received horrendous treatment at the hands of Paterson, and we continue to do our utmost to support them.”
Spire Healthcare said: “We apologise for the significant distress and harm suffered by patients who were treated by Ian Paterson in our hospitals. Spire has changed radically since 2011. Our culture, management and standards have been overhauled, with safety and quality sitting at the heart of everything we do. Systems are in place to recruit, oversee and audit consultants and identify any whose practice could give rise to concern and we are able to take action quickly.”
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Films made by a range of producers exploring and investigating topics that impact Britain and the world at large, reporting on issues and telling human-interest stories that resonate.
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