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PHIN approved as the ‘Information Organisation’ by the CMA’s Information Organisation

The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) has been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as the independent ‘Information Organisation’ with a mandate to ensure that by 2017 patients using private healthcare will receive far better information to help them compare and choose between hospitals and consultants.

As a key part of the remedies set out by the CMA in October following a two-year market investigation, all independent hospitals, including NHS Private Patient Units (PPUs), will be required to provide comprehensive and detailed data to the Information Organisation from 2016 to enable the publication of comparative performance measures for both hospitals and consultants. Measures will include activity levels, length of stay, patient satisfaction, and rates of unplanned readmission.

PHIN will not receive any personal data, such as names or dates of birth of patients.

Welcoming the announcement, Andrew Vallance-Owen, PHIN’s Chairman, said, “We’re delighted that the CMA has recognised the work that PHIN has been doing on patients’ behalf since 2012, and that we now have a mandate to strengthen our governance and broaden our range of information. Private hospitals admit nearly 1 million people each year for treatment, all of whom stand to benefit from this information. We’ll be reaching out to all those hospitals and consultants who have not yet been involved, making some key appointments, and launching a consumer-focused version of our website early next year.”