Thousands of victims of a West Midlands breast surgeon could soon receive compensation if proposed plans are approved.

In 2017 Ian Paterson, who worked for private healthcare provider Spire Healthcare, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against ten patients.

Earlier this year several inquests were opened into the deaths of women treated by Mr Paterson

Lawyers who had previously worked on behalf of Mr Patersons victims had been barred from opening new cases against the healthcare provider, preventing experienced and knowledgeable solicitors from supporting new claimants.

However, a hearing scheduled for Monday July 26 could prompt thousands more victims to come forward.

Spire Healthcare have proposed a new compensation fund along with a new scheme that allows the law firms to advise potential claimants.

Kashmir Uppal is a specialist medical negligence solicitor who has represented Paterson’s patients since 2010.

She said: “The terms of the 2017 Order restrict the new victim’s choice of solicitor, preventing them from instructing lawyers who have the necessary experience and expertise in the issues relating to these cases having been involved in the case from the outset.

“This new scheme proposed by Spire will, hopefully, draw a line under this tragic story which has affected so many people in the West Midlands but only if all those who have been injured by Paterson come forward now.”

Mr Paterson worked at hospitals in Solihull and Sutton Coldfield, operating on thousands of people from across the West Midlands.

5,500 former patients have been recalled, demonstrating the importance of the upcoming hearings which will be heard by honour Judge Whipple at the Royal Courts of Justice, London.

In February, the then Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated the government would make improvements in the wake of an independent inquiry into Mr Paterson’s behaviour.