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NHS Digital and PHIN consult on public-private healthcare data alignment

19/02/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

NHS Digital and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) have launched a consultation as part of the programme to align data from private healthcare providers and the NHS.

Stethoscope on laptop

Its proposals stem largely from the official report into the activities of rogue surgeon Ian Paterson, but also reflect the aims of the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt) to develop common standards for data, reporting systems and performance measurement across public and private healthcare.

NHS Digital highlighted the proposals for it to have access to PHIN’s national dataset of private admitted patient care in England and for the creation of a single repository for consultants on both sides.

The repository will be underpinned by common standards to record and report activity, quality and risk in a consistent way. This is aimed at enabling providers, care planners, regulators and researchers to better understand how private and public healthcare data can be used for better care.

Along with the consultation, NHS Digital plans to run a pilot on collecting data from independent providers on privately funded care within its Secondary Uses Service – the data repository for reporting and analysis in the NHS – to consolidate data reporting processes and reduce the administrative burden on hospitals.

The data will be shared with PHIN to assess whether it would be suitable to use for publication as information on the performance of hospitals and consultants, as mandated by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Essential move

Matt James, chief executive officer 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.”

The consultation is hosted on the NHS Digital Consultation Hub and is set to run until the end of March.

Image by Sergio Santos, CC BY-SA 2.0

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