RCoA response to the publication of the Paterson Inquiry Report

Published: 04/02/2020

Royal College of Anaesthetists repeats its call for the alignment of standards and clinical governance between private and NHS healthcare providers

Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said:

“The Paterson report has shown that independent hospitals can no longer use different funding and operational arrangements as an excuse for not complying with recognised professional standards. We reiterate our call for the government to require that governance structures within independent hospitals mirror those in the NHS.

“Alignment of standards and clinical governance across the two sectors is critically important in light of the increased outsourcing of NHS surgical procedures to independent hospitals. In our experience, independent hospitals often fail to engage with national clinical audits and formal accreditation processes such as our own internationally renowned National Audit Projects1 and ACSA (the College’s Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation2 service).

“We are not ignoring the challenges that all hospitals face, but every effort must be made by the independent sector and the NHS to learn lessons from these failures. It is imperative that clear structures be developed to allow for the rapid and confidential communication of concerns about the competence, clinical performance, attitudes and behaviours of healthcare professionals between NHS and independent hospitals.

“We call for the government to take the recommendations from this report and use them to combat the failures within the NHS and independent hospitals in order to protect and uphold patient safety across the entire healthcare system in the UK.”



  1. National Audit Projects bit.ly/RCoANAPS
  2. Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation bit.ly/RCoAACSA