Hospital trusts as we as managers and frontline clinicians will come under the scope of a new criminal offence for wilful neglect the government has confirmed.
In its widely trailed move the government was expected to announce a criminal offence for individual doctors and nurses but the government’s 244 page response to the Francis report makes clear this will apply to individuals too.
The document says: “The government agrees with Professor Don Berwick’s recommendation that there should be legal sanctions where individuals and organisations are guilty of wilful neglect or mistreatment of patients.
“This will help ensure there is ultimate accountability for those guilty of the most extreme types of poor care.”
The document adds: “ The government will legislate on this, and will work with stakeholders beforehand to determine the details of this measure, and will consult on proposals for legislation as soon as possible.”
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