Jeremy Hunt orders urgent action on patient safety at independent hospitals

The Health and Social Care Secretary has written to independent healthcare providers following a damning report by the Care Quality Commission

Independent hospitals must ‘get their house in order and improve safety’, the Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

In a letter to the chief executives of independent healthcare providers, Jeremy Hunt ordered urgent action to be taken to improve patient safety.

As part of its recent report on the sector, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the safety regulator – raised patient safety as its biggest concern. CQC rated a third of independent hospitals as ‘requires improvement’ following examples of poor practice and unsafe care.

The Health and Social Care Secretary said:

"If the sector is to partner with the NHS and benefit from our world-leading medical training, we need urgent assurances that the independent sector will get its house in order on safety, as well as a commitment to take rapid action to match the NHS’s world-recognised progress on transparency."

Mr Hunt has given the sector 2 weeks to respond and set out what action they will take.

Read the full text of the letter.