The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) is urging the government to ensure private hospitals are obliged to report unexpected deaths and serious injuries.
The call follows the case of Ian Paterson, the surgeon convicted last month of unlawfully wounding patients during breast surgery at private clinics in the West Midlands.
Surgical leaders say the same standards that govern the NHS should be applied in private healthcare, and are demanding a stronger focus on patient safety initiatives.
In a letter to the government, the RCS said private patients had less information about safety concerns in privately run hospitals than those in the NHS. The RCS has also repeated its call for better regulation of cosmetic surgery which is mostly carried out in private clinics.
RCS president Clare Marx said: “Ian Paterson wilfully abused the trust placed in him by patients at their most vulnerable. His actions and behaviour were appalling, and we must do everything in our power to prevent such a violation being repeated.”
In its letter, the RCS says “we need to ask how and why those working closely with Ian Paterson did not spot his behaviour or were unwilling to challenge it. We will continue to support a culture in the health service which encourages staff to speak up”.
How can our medical negligence team help?
If you feel that you have been let down in some way – whether you are a private or NHS patient – get in touch with Gotelee so that we can assess your case.
Our Medical Negligence Team has a wealth of experience in representing clients who have suffered as a result of a clinical error.
Making a claim could result in the person affected receiving the necessary financial help to deal with the consequences of an error, as well as providing closure and helping to ensure the same mistake isn’t repeated.