Wilful neglect could become a criminal offence

  • The Government wants wilful neglect to become a criminal offence in England after the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal.

    Around 240 prosecutions a year alleging wilful neglect or ill-treatment of patients could soon be placed under a new criminal offence in England following the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal. Woman In Hospital

    A consultation paper and impact assessment on the proposed new legislation says that individuals could face a £5,000 fine and/or up to five years in prison.  Far stiffer financial penalties could be given to the organisations that employ these people, reports the Guardian.

    The law aims to act as a deterrent and match penalties that already exist for those who ill-treat people without mental capacity, says the Department of Health. "This offence will also send a strong message that poor care will not be tolerated and ensure that wherever ill-treatment or wilful neglect occurs, those responsible will be held to account."

    There is an estimated £2.2m  year cost to the criminal justice system however in a minority of cases defendants will be required to fund their own costs at about £400 a time.

    Norman Lamb, the care and support minister has said: "Our healthcare system is the envy of the world. The NHS is full of caring and compassionate staff delivering the best care for patients. But the Francis inquiry showed that sometimes the standard of care is not good enough. This is not about punishing honest mistakes - it is about closing the gap in current laws so that this type of poor care cannot go unpunished. The proposal is part of a package of measures after Francis to ensure better protections for patients, more support for NHS staff and greater transparency and openness in the NHS."

    Peter Walsh, from the patient safety charity, Action against Medical Accidents, said: "It is important to remember that this is about wilful neglect - not mistakes or lapses. It is intolerable that people guilty of such wilful neglect can currently not be held to account. The impact assessment shows that the DoH estimates many are avoiding that. However, the main emphasis must be on supporting good quality care. An acceptance of compulsory minimum staffing levels would have helped that."

    What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions

    Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1051476

Related articles

  • Read More


    Almost three fourth of 372 care homes rated inadequate in 2014 and still operating have improved.205 care homes have improved from a low rating to requiring improvement, 68 are now rated good and 99...

  • Read More


    NHS trusts which have been previously rated good or outstanding will not be inspected as frequently as before, but those rated as inadequate will be regularly visited by the CQC.The Guardian reports...

  • Read More

    Government to inspect if housing can reduce NHS costs

    In the Budget document the government have said it's looking at the ‘cost-effectiveness of options to integrate spending around some of the most vulnerable groups of people.' This includes...

  • Read More

    End of life patients are lacking support

    The charity has found that almost 92% of NHS clinical commissioning groups do not provide round the clock telephone helplines, reports the BBC.Guidelines say there should be 24-hour telephone...

  • Read More

    Social care is being limited due to council cuts

    ADASS are warning that cuts are making the care system "unsustainable" with charities saying hundreds of thousands of people are struggling without help, even though the government says councils have...

  • Read More

    Young people should not be placed in B&Bs says MPs

    The Commons Education Select Committee has said that B&B accommodation is "threatening and frightening" and should only be used in emergency situations reports the BBC.MPs say that young people...

  • Read More

    Special measures system designed to improve failing care homes

    A scheme similar to special measures of hospitals will be introduced for care homes and home care agencies next year, ministers will say, reports the BBC.This will cover 25,000 services and could...

  • Read More

    Research says that one in three Alzheimer's cases can be prevented

    The research says that the main risk factors of Alzheimer's is lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education, reports the BBC. Alzheimer's Research UK said age was still the biggest risk...

  • Read More

    NHS boss says those with vulnerabilities need joint health and care budget

    Simon Stevens wants to see older people, those with disabilities and people with serious mental health problems given joint pots from the NHS and council-run social care services, reports the...

  • Read More

    Council falters in reviewing autistic man’s care plan

    According to Community Care:"The ruling was made by the Local Government Ombudsman after the man's mother complained that his physical and mental health deteriorated in the two-year period after...

Revenue Optimisation "We really appreciate the work that Support Solutions did for Home Group in securing significant additional revenue for our supported housing schemes. This really will make a positive difference to the way in which we support our vulnerable tenants". Dave Coope - Home Group


Briefing Signup