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PHIN aims to publish information on 1,000 leading consultants from July, as Royal College of Surgeons encourages members to “take a lead on safety and transparency”

12/06/2018
4,000 consultants, representing 40% of private admissions in the UK, have already begun reviewing their private practice data

LONDON 12 June 2018: The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) is asking consultants working in private healthcare to begin approving data on the number of procedures that they undertake and typical lengths of stay for publication on PHIN’s public website.

The information is the first step in publishing a range of performance measures to help patients make informed choices, as required by the Competition & Markets Authority’s Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order 2014.

From today, consultants admitting private patients will be able to preview and approve their performance measures through PHIN’s online portal in advance of publication. PHIN is aiming for 1,000 of consultants to approve their data for an initial launch which is anticipated at the end of July.

Matt James, CEO of PHIN said: “We want to launch this service for patients with a strong representation of the leading consultants in the country. The response from the professions so far has been superb, with the main specialty organisations giving us great input and support to prepare the data and communicate with their members.”

Since December, 4,000 consultants have logged in to PHIN’s portal to start checking the data provided by private hospitals, to correct errors, and to give PHIN feedback to improve the process.

Eventually, PHIN will need to publish performance data for all of the estimated 14,000 consultants admitting patients privately, with measures ranging from patient satisfaction and reported outcomes to adverse event rates. Fee information for an even wider group of consultants, including those who see only outpatients, will also be published in 2019.

Lending his support to this process, the president of the Royal College of Surgeons, Professor Derek Alderson, said “This is a major opportunity for the private healthcare sector to rally behind transparency and demonstrate genuine commitment to improving patient safety and reducing risk. We encourage all of our members to get behind this opportunity to review and approve performance data and take a lead on safety and transparency.”

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, Chair of PHIN, said “The publication of consultant-level private healthcare performance information is an important step in the journey towards greater transparency for private healthcare. Approving their measures will enable consultants to demonstrate the scope of their care to patients, contribute to public understanding of clinical quality, and drive service improvements.”

The announcement comes just weeks after the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, challenged hospital leaders to respond positively to concerns raised by the CQC over standards of quality and governance at some independent hospitals.

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