Staff members who deliberately neglect or behave recklessly towards patients could now face up to five years in prison and 5,000 fines.
Current laws only cover certain forms of ill-treatment or wilful neglect, such as physical violence.
The Department of Health said the change would close the loophole as the law only applies to certain settings, such as in mental health institutions where the person lacked mental capacity. There is no specific offence in relation to adults with capacity.
Fletchers feel it is important that these changes are brought to the attention of the public so they are made aware that this behaviour is now punishable by law and must be reported.
The Bill aims to hold individuals and also organisations, providing health or social care, accountable for acts of neglect. This applies to the 1.35 million people employed by the NHS in England.
The amendment is ‘designed to tackle completely unacceptable actions, not punish human error.’ This will eliminate inconsistency and ensure that cases of poor care are dealt with appropriately.
If you feel like you have received poor care or know someone who has experienced serious neglect, then it is important that it is reported. We understand that the NHS are constantly working to improve the service to make sure that instances like this do not happen again. By reporting such cases, it will help bring it to the NHS’ attention and ensure such instances don’t happen again.
You can also get in touch with our experienced legal team at Fletchers Solicitors. Our team are experts in medical negligence and can support you in making a claim so that you receive the compensation you deserve.