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Private Healthcare Regulations

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 19 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Regulations Healthcare Insurance Medical

It has been known for people to question the safety and regulations in private hospitals and how these compare to those in the National Health Service.In fact although there may be some differences, these should not affect the patients experience nor the treatment they receive.

Regulations & Staff

Most of the staff working in the private sector will in fact have some degree of experience of working in the NHS and many of them will continue to work in both.They will have all trained to the recognised level of education and these certificates and training experiences will be checked when they are considered for employment by the establishment as they would do if working in the NHS.

The NHS is well known for its strict policy-making and guidelines to which staff refer to ensure the best and safest practices that are evidence based and also risk assessed. Private hospitals will also have their own policies which are written with the safety of patients, staff and visitors though these may differ from those seen in the NHS. This is not a matter for serious consideration as each NHS hospital is responsible for writing their own policies that are applicable to their working environment.

All healthcare professionals are responsible for identifying their own training needs and for assessing whether they feel comfortable to practice, but they do have a governing body, for example the GMC or the NMC to which they must report to. These governing bodies will also take some of the responsibility for ensuring that their members keep up-to-date and do not do anything to com[promise their professional status.

National Regulations

Private hospitals are also now overseen by the Healthcare Commission who are a national body responsible for regulating and inspecting hospitals all over the country. Initially private hospitals did not come into their remit, but due to the need for national standards and public demand, they have now incorporated these hospitals under their umbrella.

They ensure that all hospitals meet minimum standards as set out by the department oh health.This ensures that all patients regardless of whether they are being treated through the NHS, with private medical insurance or buying their healthcare on an as-and-when basis all receive the same standards of care and treatment.

It is however up to the individual hospital managers and the staff individual themselves, to make sure that their staff meet these guidelines.

National standards such as hand-washing and cleaning should be upheld by all staff as a matter of priority, but the hospitals must provide the provisions for such standards to be met. It is therefore not a single person or group of people who must make sure regulations are maintained and upheld, but an effort from many groups, some clinical others managerial.

Patient safety and service provisions remains the priority whether the setting is within the national health service structure or in a private setting.

Regulations within the private sector do vary from the NHS as the local policies and guidelines will be different but on the whole they are all regulated by a national body. Each individual professional is also accountable for their own actions and must answer to their governing body as a matter of staff regulation and vigilance.

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