Consultation launched on private data and NHS activity

NHS Digital and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) have launched a consultation as part of the next phase of a programme to align private healthcare data with NHS recorded activity.

The consultation sets out a series of changes to how data is recorded and managed across private and NHS care, along with a series of pilot projects. It aims to seek the views of private and NHS providers, clinicians, the public and other organisations with an interest in private healthcare and will be used to help shape the future changes.

The consultation, which has been launched following the publication of the Paterson Inquiry, will be hosted on the NHS Digital Consultation Hub.

Under the changes proposed in the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt), PHIN will share the national dataset of private admitted patient care in England with NHS Digital, creating a single source of healthcare data in England.

This recommendation has been supported by recommendations in the Paterson Inquiry to create a single repository for practice of consultants in private and public healthcare across England.

The repository will be underpinned by common standards to record and report activity, quality and risk in a consistent way across both sectors. It will allow providers, care planners, regulators and researchers to better understand how private and public healthcare data sits alongside each other and how it can be used to deliver better care.

NHS Digital will also pilot collecting data directly from independent providers on privately funded care within its Secondary Uses Service (SUS), consolidating the data reporting processes and reducing the administrative burden on hospitals. This data will be shared with PHIN so they can assess whether it would be suitable to use for the publication of hospital and consultant performance information as mandated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Regardless of where you’re treated or how your care is funded, everybody deserves safe, compassionate care. The recent Paterson Inquiry highlighted the shocking failures that can occur when information is not shared and acted upon in both the NHS and independent sector. We are working tirelessly across the health system to deliver the highest standards of care for patients. Trusted data is absolutely critical to this mission and the ADAPt programme will help improve transparency and raise standards for all.”

Tom Denwood, Executive Director of Data, Insights and Statistics at NHS Digital, said: “In light of the conclusion of the Paterson Inquiry the ability to provide greater transparency in quality and safety and to improve patient care is more important than ever. We would like to encourage feedback on this consultation, especially from patient groups, professional bodies, and providers of care, to help it draw its important conclusions on if and how to create this alignment.”

Matt James, CEO of PHIN, said: “The Paterson Inquiry showed that joined-up information is essential, and patients considering private healthcare can already use PHIN’s website to search information on more than 2,500 consultants covering both their NHS and Private practice. The ADAPt programme will make PHIN's data on private healthcare more easily available to the NHS to improve governance. We encourage everyone to voice their support for this important initiative to improve patient safety.”

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