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Patient safety needs to be same at Private hospitals

Patient safety needs to be same at Private hospitals

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has said that private hospitals must do more for patient safety.

With referencing the rogue surgeon Ian Paterson, the RCS say that private hospitals need to prevent harm coming to people.

Ian Paterson carried out unnecessary breast surgery operations. And he was jailed for 20 years in prison in 2017.

Now the RCS say that the private sector of healthcare needs to gather and publish data in the same was as NHS hospitals have to. In that, they also need to be sharing consultant performance.

During Paterson’s trial, it became evident that concerns about his conduct were raised in the NHS. However, he continued to practice in the private sector.

Professor Derek Alderson, president of RCS, says,

“There is no doubt that Ian Paterson was a rogue individual. That said, the entire healthcare sector must do more to prevent someone like him from ever causing harm again.”

“This starts with being able to collect and analyse good quality patient safety and outcomes data.”

At the moment, the private sector:

  • Doesn’t have to Publish data on how many and what procedures are carried out
  • Doesn’t have to contribute to national clinical audits which collect data on care outcomes

BUT the NHS does.

Private hospital do have to report data on unexpected deaths and serious injuries. However, the Care Quality Commission doesn’t routinely publish this.

Melanie Lidstone-Land, senior associate in Medical Negligence department at Swain & Co Solicitors, comments,

“Often clients may say to me that they should have gone private when medical mistakes cause them harm. However, in my experience patient safety tends to be higher in the NHS, and care more transparent. NHS hospitals have more staff on hand if something was to go wrong too.”

Melanie continues,

“It is awful that private hospitals can operate without the same procedures as NHS. Patients need to be protected. I encourage any moves that promote this.”

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