Over-reliance on informal arrangements by independent hospitals and doctors is a “major concern” and could put patients at risk, the Care Quality Commission has warned.

Following inspections of more than 200 private sector hospitals, the regulator said there was evidence of “substantial variation in the quality and effectiveness of governance arrangements and a number of examples of poor practice”.

In a report published today, the CQC warned: “There is a real danger that poor practices are not picked up or challenged in the way they should be. This can have a significant impact on the safety of services, in particular where familiarisation and subsequent informality in processes may mean that systematic and robust safety procedures are not sufficiently in place to protect patients from harm.”

Full story in The HSJ, 11 April 2018

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