The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released its report looking at the quality and safety of care provided by private hospitals across England, saying that quality of care was its biggest concern.
The CQC inspected and rated 206 hospitals, rating 62% as good and 8% as outstanding. However, it revealed that 41% required improvement when it came to patient safety while a further 1% were deemed inadequate.
It also found “a lack for formalised governance procedures meant that hospitals were not effectively monitoring the work of consultants who operate under practising privileges – where a consultant clinician works in a hospital but is not a direct employee”.
It said that checks to ensure that clinicians were only working in their agreed scope of practice were not always taking place. As a result, the report states, “there was a risk that poor practices were not always picked up or challenged in the way they should be”.
Shoosmiths’ Kashmir Uppal, who specialises in medical negligence, was instrumental in pursuing claims on behalf of those injured by rogue breast surgeon Ian Paterson.
She said: “We are really pleased that the CQC has highlighted clear failings of care in the private sector. Sadly, these findings come too late for Paterson’s victims.
“However, we have long called for better clinical governance within the private sector so news that the CQC has already shared its findings with the relevant hospitals to drive improvements is welcome.
“We are pleased that, in turn, private health care providers recognise that patient care has got to be their top priority.”
The report’s foreword makes a specific reference to Paterson, stating: “...we found that monitoring of medical governance such as scope of practice of individual consultants was not consistently robust. Such a failure of effective governance was brought into sharp focus with the recent case of the surgeon Ian Paterson. We also found that the sector also needs to do more in monitoring and reporting clinical outcomes.”
The full CQC report can be found, here.