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More hospitals, but a call for full compliance from UK private healthcare providers

31/08/2017
PHIN will publish performance measures for an additional 26 hospital sites offering private healthcare services from 4 September. The measures for the new sites are consistent with the first set of measures that were launched in May this year. Whilst this represents a further step forward in bringing standards of data quality and transparency into line with the NHS, PHIN is also calling for full compliance from UK private healthcare providers so that it can publish further measures indicating quality and risk of harm, increasing urgently needed transparency to the sector.

With publication across an additional 26 hospitals, PHIN’s website now offers data across 149 common procedures at 286 hospitals. The existing performance measures show the CQC rating, number of patient admissions, typical lengths of stay, and what proportion of previous patients would recommend the facility to their friends and family (using the same approach that is standard across the NHS).

This announcement comes at the same time as the UK Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issues compliance action against private healthcare providers that are not yet submitting performance data.

Matt James, Chief Executive of PHIN, said “PHIN continues to make progress, publishing information about a wider range of hospitals as they come on board. We’re pleased to see the CMA taking positive action to ensure that all private healthcare providers participate, and send us the complete and accurate data that will enable us to publish more detailed measures, including information about consultants. PHIN remains focused on assisting all hospitals to fully participate, providing tools and support to enable them to submit and check their data prior to publication. We continue to balance an absolute commitment to making the CMA’s information remedies work for patients with a pragmatic view on what is deliverable.”

Publishing hospital performance and outcomes data will improve the quality of clinical care for patients, assist industry regulation, and empower patients with evidence and knowledge about their care provider. However, to date there has been insufficient evidence of genuine ambition for demonstrating quality of care in private healthcare.

Andrew Vallance-Owen, Chairman of the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), said “Lessons from the last year have shown an absolute and urgent need for greater transparency in private healthcare in the UK. PHIN wholeheartedly supports the action taken by the CMA, it’s time for private healthcare to do what other industry sectors have been doing for years which is to quantifiably measure success, identify and improve poor care, and allow good care to stand out. Ultimately this is about empowering patients with information that will help them understand and choose the best care for them or their families.”

PHIN’s work towards greater transparency in the private healthcare sector continues as it works with hospitals and private healthcare providers to prepare and validate data across additional performance measures, such as Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs), and ‘never’ event rates (serious incidents that are entirely preventable / should never happen). PHIN will also be publishing performance measures on consultants in private practice in 2018. Additional information will only be published once the data sets are fully robust and credible.

Patients can use our new interactive map to check the compliance status of all hospitals. This can be found here.