Matt Hancock – 2020 Statement on the Paterson Inquiry

Below is the text of the statement made by Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, in the House of Commons on 4 February 2020.

Today the report of the independent inquiry into the issues raised by the former breast surgeon Ian Paterson has been published.

This report follows two years of work by the inquiry, led by Bishop Graham James. The Bishop has adopted a strong commitment to a “patients and families first” approach to public disclosure, which means that the process of public disclosure began earlier this morning with the patients and families themselves.

The report contains an analysis of the circumstances surrounding Ian Paterson’s malpractice that has affected so many patients and considers other past and current ​practices. It also tells the stories of patients who came forward to provide evidence to the inquiry, which bears testament to their courage. As such it makes for difficult reading and it is with deep regret that we have to acknowledge the failure of the NHS and the independent sector to protect patients from Paterson’s malpractice.

The public should be able to trust that a health professional will never again be allowed to place personal gain or advancement over the best interests of his or her patients whether care is funded by the NHS or privately. It is therefore essential that the whole of the health sector responds quickly and effectively to the lessons of this inquiry. The Government will give a thorough and detailed consideration of their findings over the coming weeks.

We expect now for all the relevant agencies and organisations both nationally and locally, and across the whole healthcare sector to give this report urgent and thorough attention.

Once that work is done, the relevant agencies will decide what steps to take next.

Copies of the report will be laid before the House and will be available from the Vote Office and at: https://www.gov.uk.

An oral statement will be delivered to the House today.