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GMC comments on decision to strike off Dr Ian Paterson

GMC Statement

25 Jul 2017

GMC Chief Executive, Charlie Massey, has reacted to the news that Dr Ian Paterson has been struck off the medical register by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

He said:

‘I am pleased that Ian Paterson has today been removed from the medical register, and can no longer do harm to patients. His terrible actions went unchecked for too long because managers and colleagues had their concerns but did not speak up; indeed, it took brave patients to bring these issues to our attention whereupon we took action to suspend him, investigate and refer the matter to police.

‘Over recent months I have listened to victims’ stories unfold and have been appalled at the impact that his actions have had on so many lives. I hope that today’s decision by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service provides some element of closure for those affected.

‘Although the world is a fundamentally different place now where we have measures to tackle acts such as this much earlier, I am determined that we will leave no stone unturned to help the health system learn lessons from this case. One of those lessons must be how concerns about healthcare professionals are shared between clinical staff and managers, and between the private sector and the NHS. We will do everything possible to support that learning.’    

Notes to editors

The General Medical Council (GMC) is an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK.

  • We decide which doctors are qualified to work here and we oversee UK medical education and training.
  • We set the standards that doctors need to follow, and make sure that they continue to meet these standards throughout their careers.
  • We take action when we believe a doctor may be putting the safety of patients, or the public's confidence in doctors, at risk.

We are not here to protect doctors - their interests are protected by others. Our job is to protect the public.

We are independent of government and the medical profession and accountable to Parliament. Our powers are given to us by Parliament through the Medical Act 1983.

We are a registered charity (number 1089278 with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and number SC037750 with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), we have to show that our aims are for public benefit.

The GMC Media Relations Office can be contacted on 020 7189 5454, email

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