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Paterson Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:53 pm on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 1:53 pm, 4th February 2020

The hon. Gentleman raises many issues that we can agree on. I am not here to defend the private sector, but I would like to reiterate that women were affected both in the national health service and in the private sector. It does not take into consideration the suffering of those women in the NHS if we just focus on one particular area.

The CQC has had a duty with regard to the private sector since 2015. These cases took place between 1997 and 2011. In 2012, the CQC introduced the revalidation system for doctors, with responsible officers attached to each organisation and an appraisal process that consultants and doctors go through to assess their performance. That happened in 2012 and was introduced by the General Medical Council.

In 2014, we instructed the CQC to appraise the private sector in the same way and hold the private sector to the same standards as the NHS. As I said, I am not here to defend the private sector, but in the CQC examination it came out as good, and I believe that Spire scored 85%.

The hon. Gentleman is right—this is about patient safety and all providers raising their game. As I said, healthcare providers and healthcare professionals have a responsibility to speak out. The time that it took from complaints being made about Paterson to action being taken was too long. We need people in the NHS and the private sector to speak up, to listen and to act more quickly. That is one issue we want to take forward. I will take all his points on board. There is much we agree on. As I said, I am not here to defend the private sector, but women in the NHS suffered as well.