We have been instructed by a number of clients to investigate their concerns about surgical treatment carried out at the BMI Fawkham Manor Hospital, near Dartford in 2016, relating to both private and NHS treatment. At this stage no formal allegations of negligence have been made.
Thomson Snell & Passmore has extensive experience in clinical negligence claims, including cases involving private and NHS orthopaedic surgery. If you have concerns about the treatment received at the Fawkham Manor Hospital (either privately or under the choose and book system) or have suffered complications following any medical or surgical procedure and would like us to investigate your case, please contact us on 01892 510000.
The number of surgical procedures carried out on NHS patients in the private sector under the NHS ‘choose and book’ scheme has risen sharply in recent years, from 350,000 in 2012 to 530,000 in 2016. The Department of Health (DoH) accounts show the NHS paid the private sector £8.7bn for services last year, 7.6% of the DoH’s total budget.
We are receiving a growing number of enquiries from patients who have been treated within the private sector, where clinical governance and ethos differ from the NHS. Many private hospitals do not pay their doctors a salary, but issue licences for doctors to treat patients at their hospital and give them a fee for each patient they see and treat. The more complex the surgery, the higher the fees for the doctors. Private hospitals contracted by the NHS are also paid according to how many patients they treat.
There is therefore at least a financial incentive for doctors and hospitals to over-treat. This problem does not exist in the NHS, where clinicians receive an annual salary or charge on an hourly basis if they are locums.
A report published by think tank Centre for Health and Public Interest (CHPI) in March 2015, which looked into NHS outsourcing of community and secondary care, raised concerns about the lack of accountability: “If profits can be increased (or losses reduced) by cutting the quality of services to patients, or by cutting corners, there is an incentive to do it,” it said. “And this may be enhanced by pressure from managers who have corporate profit targets to meet.”
If you have any questions or would like any further details on the information above, please contact our clinical negligence team on 01892 510000.