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To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the letter entitled, Patient safety: letter to independent healthcare providers, published by his Department on 8 May 2018, what steps his Department is taking to improve patient safety in the private sector.
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 all providers of regulated activities, including National Health Service and independent providers, have to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and meet a set of fundamental standards of safety and quality below which care should never fall.
The Government recognises the useful role of the independent sector in adding capacity, promoting innovation and offering patient choice.
The CQC raised important patient safety concerns in its ‘State of Care in Independent Acute Hospitals’ report, which the former Secretary of State (Rt. hon. Jeremy Hunt MP) committed to address in his letter of 8 May 2018 to chief executives of independent healthcare providers.
The CQC continues to work with independent health care providers to improve the quality of care and safety including the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, formerly NHS Partners, and the Private Health Information Network.
In addition, in its response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill, the Government agreed to consult on extending the remit of the new body to investigate independently-funded health care.
The CQC has now completed its programme of comprehensive inspections for all independent acute hospitals in England.