So we have just fined some hospitals!
and last week we fined network rail
This is ludicrous beyond belief. Organizations are NOT negligent, PEOPLE are. And in these cases, the people are usually high up the tree, and their crime is almost always not taking their role seriously and ignoring their own staff at the bottom of the organization.
But who pays the fine? Either the public, or if the fine actually effects the companies finances then cuts will be made at the BOTTOM of the tree.
The ONLY deterrent is a prison sentence for those found responsible. A fine has no effect on a person with a substantial personal fortune, and access to almost unlimited funds from their organization.
Somewhere in the organization, someone has withheld the funds, or not allocated resources and the result is either breaking the law, or a tragedy. That person is never identified, will probably keep their job, and their salary, and their bonus, and their pension. Its unfair, and just plain stupid.
The threat (and actuality) of a few months, weeks, or even days in jail together with the subsequent criminal record, and increased sentences for subsequent offences would have an immediate effect on directors, executives, and managers behaviour.