After NHS patient death, Jeremy Hunt warned of private hospital safety

The death of an NHS patient has led to the issue of safety for NHS patients treated in private hospitals being raised directly with health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Simon Nelson, Assistant coroner for Manchester West, has written to Hunt warning about poor processes for emergency transfers, the lack of responsibility private companies have for consultants they use, and junior doctors working alone for 24 hour shifts with a lack of training and monitoring.

Mr Hunt has been given until next month to respond. The letter followed the coroner’s investigation into the care of 77 year old Peter O’Donnell.

Mr O’Donnell, who was an NHS patient, died in January 2017 after hip replacement surgery at BMI Healthcare’s Beaumont Hospital in Bolton. His hospital-acquired pneumonia was not properly recognised by staff, who dialled 999 to rush him to the Royal Bolton Hospital four days after his surgery, where he suffered a cardiac arrest resulting from organ failure and sepsis. He died a few days later having never regained consciousness.

HSJ: 23 April 2018

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