Spire contributes £27m to fund for victims of disgraced surgeon Ian Paterson
(ShareCast News) - Spire Healthcare said on Wednesday that it will contribute £27.2m towards a compensation fund for victims of disgraced breast surgeon Iain Paterson, who left hundreds of patients scarred and disfigured after carrying out unnecessary operations.
The £37m fund will provide compensation to around 750 patients bringing claims against Spire and will deal with any new claims brought before October 2018. Spire's contribution will be paid out of cash reserves and a further £10m will be provided by co-defendants in the case and Paterson's insurers.
The company, which runs private hospitals across the UK, said the agreement is conditional upon the parties agreeing, and the court approving, the terms of a formal court order.
Interim chief executive Simon Gordon said: "Earlier this year a criminal court decided that Ian Paterson must bear responsibility for his actions, finding him guilty of assaulting a number of his patients. He behaved with clear criminal intent and abused the trust of those who looked to him for his care and relied upon his expertise. However, whilst nothing diminishes Mr Paterson's responsibility for his actions, these events took place in our hospitals, and this should not have happened.
"We accept that better clinical governance in the private hospitals where Mr Paterson practised, as well as in his NHS Trust, might have led to action being taken sooner, and it is right that we have made a material contribution to the settlement announced today.
"We have apologised unreservedly to Mr Paterson's patients for their suffering and distress and we would like to repeat that apology. As soon as the criminal trial ended we were able to start liaising with claimants' lawyers to broker a settlement involving all defendants. This has resulted in the agreement announced today."
To date, the NHS has paid more than £17m in compensation to victims. Figures from NHS Resolution show that as of July 31, it had received 277 claims involving Paterson's NHS practice and paid out £17,411,639 on those cases.
At 1440 BST, the shares were down 2% to 312.40p.