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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Hospitals should be fined

14th December 2007

The government’s chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson has proposed that hospitals should be fined if they harm patients.

heart surgery

He said that the taxpayer should not be expected to foot the bill for poor care that resulted in longer stays in hospital.

Sir Liam said: “Why should the health service, funded by the taxpayer, pay for the care of a patient that’s had bad care? In any other walk of life if you receive very bad service then you don’t pay for it, you get a refund, and I don’t think it should be any different in the health service. If somebody develops MRSA and has to stay in hospital longer to be treated, why should it be funded??

New figures from the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) show that more than 700,000 NHS “patient safety incidents? were reported in 2006-7 with 6,500 resulting in severe harm and nearly 3,000 people died.

Hospitals in America are fined in this way and Sir Liam said he would recommend to Lord Darzi, who is carrying out a review of the NHS, that a similar system be introduced in the UK.

NPSA chief executive Martin Fletcher said he would support Sir Liam’s proposal as “an important principle to create stronger incentives for safer care.?

Former NHS chief executive Sir Ian Carruthers said there was a culture in the NHS that prevented patient safety being properly addressed.

“Our culture is to pretend things don’t happen or to recognise they do but try to deal with them outside any processes,? he said.

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Friday 28th December 2007 @ 17:14

such reprisals may act as a deterrent to incident reporting and lead to cover-ups. An alternative is to continue the drive to encourage openess and transparency but then strengthen the focus on auditing and monitoring to ensure that lessons learned are embedded into practice.

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