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Private hospitals should have to report same safety data as NHS does, think tank says

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 26 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5291
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

UK private hospitals should be obliged to report patient safety incidents and information on their performance in the same way as NHS organisations do, the think tank the Centre for Health and the Public Interest has said.

In a new report the centre argues that the safety of private hospitals, which now generate 28% of their income from treating NHS patients, cannot be assessed and compared directly with that of NHS organisations without this information.1

The report, published on 20 August, said that figures obtained from the healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) showed that between October 2010 and April 2014 802 patients died unexpectedly and there were 921 serious injuries in private hospitals in England.

Most private hospitals have no intensive care beds, and some have no dedicated resuscitation teams, so the NHS acts as a “safety net” for private hospitals, the report added. Each year around 6000 patients are admitted to the …

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