Proposed legislation has been published by the Government covering healthcare in England and, according to the Daily Mail, one of the provisions is that
"Hospitals that give false information
about death rates will face unlimited fines under a package of new
powers aimed at preventing another Mid Staffordshire-style health
I have never seen the point in fining a state run organisation as all that happens is that less money is then available for the organisation to carry out its work. Unlike a public company, there are no shareholders who will take a cut in dividends, or customers who will go elsewhere. For example, hospitals have been instructed to get rid of mixed-sex wards, and can be fined for failure to comply. However, as the hospitals claim that the reason that they have been unable to make the necessary changes is lack of money, fining them is hardly likely to improve the situation.
Fining a hospital does not affect the hospital one little bit, it is a fine on all the unfortunate patients who happen to live within the hospital's catchment area.
It is those responsible who should be fined, the administrators who fail to carry out their duties; administrators to whom "administration" and politically correct statistics are more important than the patients. Provision of incorrect statistics is surely "misfeasance* in public office" which is a criminal offence, and in my view those administrators responsible for issuing the instructions should be prosecuted. It should also be possible for the Regulator to double check the statistics by collating the information shown on the death certificates relating to deaths at a hospital, bearing in mind that it is also an offence to provide false information to the Registrar, and thus any doctor providing the Registrar with an incorrect cause of death could be in trouble.
No new laws seem to be required, as the existing ones, properly applied, appear adequate; certainly fining the hospital will do nothing to help the patients.
* Misfeasance is to take inappropriate action or give intentionally incorrect advice.
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