Surgery and Diagnostics









There have been numerous concerns from the Care Quality Commission for surgery and diagnostics that have been ran by private companies. The reports show worrying trends around patient safety and quality of care.


BMI Healthcare

A private hospital run by BMI Healthcare that treats up to 10,000 NHS patients a year, put their safety at risk according to a report by the health watchdog.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Fawkham Manor Hospital in Kent as "inadequate" - the worst possible ranking. Staff told the CQC that finacial targets were prioritised over patient safety at the hospital, where the NHS patients make up almost half of the caseload.

In June 2013, the NHS temporarily stopped referrals to BMI Healthcare's Mount Alvernia hospital, in Surrey, following a CQC report which found serious failings on patient consent, care, cleanliness, staffing levels and service quality monitoring.

The report noted some staff had told inspectors breaches had been caused by initiatives designed to "save money" or for "logistical and financial reasons".

Vanguard Healthcare

In Somerset, dozens of people were left with impaired vision, pain and discomfort after undergoing operations provided by the private healthcare company Vanguaged Healthcare under contract with Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton.

The hospital's contract with Vanguard Healthcare was terminated four days after 30 patients, most elderly and some frail, reported complications, including blurred vision, pain and swelling.

Ramsay Healthcare

In a very similar set up in Devon, 19 NHS patients had the outcome of their cataract surgery reviewed after at least 19 NHS patients had the outcome of their cataract surgery reviewed after at least two had problems with their eyes following operations at a private hospital.

The problems emerged on the first day of operations conducted under a contract to perform cataract operations between the NHS's South Devon Healthcare Foundation trust, which runs Torbay hospital, and Mount Stuart hospital, owned by Ramsay Healthcare.


Circle was the private provider involved in the privatisation of Nottingham's dermatology service, which in June 2015, was described by an independent report as "an unmitigated disaster".

Once part of a national centre for excellence at Queen's Medical Centre, it is now much reduced, with some patients sent to a centre in Leicester.

When Circle won the contract, several consultants refused to transfer from NHS contracts, leaving the dermatology service with few consultants and Circle had to employ locums.


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