Paterson Inquiry report welcomed but does not go far enough

Published: 4 Feb 2020

AvMA welcomes the report of the Independent Inquiry into the issues raised by Paterson, published today but warns it does not go far enough to protect patients in private healthcare.

AvMA advised some of the patients and families affected by Paterson and gave evidence to the inquiry. AvMA called for major changes to the way that private healthcare is regulated in order to protect future patients. Some of the issues AvMA has been campaigning for for years include:

  • Bringing regulations of private healthcare up to the level applied to the NHS, with regular audits and supervision and appraisal of health staff
  • A single robust complaints procedure for patients in private healthcare with the right to appeal to an ombudsman or equivalent and independent advice/advocacy
  • A statutory requirement for any private healthcare organisation to take responsibility and have indemnity cover for any legal claim made in relation to the treatment provided under its auspices

AvMA Chief Executive Peter Walsh said:

“We are pleased that the inquiry recommends that patients with complaints should have a legal right to independent adjudication, and that the Government takes steps to ensure indemnity arrangements are changed so that patients/families with claims are not caught out. We are also glad to see recommendations about tightening the regulation of private healthcare and supervision of health staff.

“However, the inquiry failed to recommend that patients/families have access to a funded independent advice service to help them take forward concerns. This is a major gap in private healthcare where injured patients are often left to fend for themselves against large corporations or on rare occasions, rogue doctors.”