New criminal offence of wilful neglect of patients

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has outlined the Government's response to key recommendations made by the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal.

The following are among those that will be implemented:

  • A new criminal offence of wilful neglect
  • A new obligation on hospitals, doctors and nurses to be open with patients when things go wrong. Hospitals will lose their insurance cover for that case if they are not.
  • Hospitals to publish monthly figures on staffing levels
  • A new patient safety programme like the one that already exists in Scotland
  • Streamline the red tape for patients' complaints and publish quarterly figures
  • Managers who have failed in the past to be barred from getting jobs elsewhere in the NHS
  • A "care certificate" for healthcare assistants to show they have had proper training
  • Every patient will have the name of a doctor and a nurse responsible for their care over their bed.

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NHS patient safety pledges

Jeremy Hunt has NHS staff could face a new criminal offence of wilful neglect of patients as one of a series of measures adopted by the Health Secretary from the Francis report into the deaths at Stafford Hospital.