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Private Hospitals and the Need for Transparency Over Patient Safety

Apr 12, 2019
In a welcome development, the Royal College of Surgeons has called for private hospitals to be forced to publish their safety records.

Unlike the NHS, private hospitals do not have to share data on their procedures. Neither are they subject to freedom of information law. 

A report last year said that 41% of private hospitals were not doing enough on safety. 

The need to protect patients has been brought into sharp focus following the Ian Paterson scandal, in which hundreds of women were given needless breast operations by a rogue surgeon.

Paterson is serving 20 years in prison for wounding with intent after NHS and private hospitals failed for years to prevent him from carrying our surgery on women he maliciously advised had breast cancer.

Since 2014, private hospitals have been told by the Competition and Markets Authority to publish data such as how long patients stay for different procedures, but almost half have still not supplied all the information.

The Royal College of Surgeons is right to call for increased regulation. When it comes to patient safety, complete transparency is the only way forward, whether the treatment is provided by the NHS or in a private hospital.

Yasmin Ameer

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Yasmin Ameer

Yasmin specialises in the handling of catastrophic personal injury and medical negligence claims. She has over 30 years’ experience acting for seriously injured clients and ...

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