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Pilot launched to include independent providers in clinical audits

Project will focus on breast cancer in older people and cataract surgery

A pilot is being launched to enable health procedures provided by independent healthcare providers in England to be included in national clinical audits. 

Jointly led by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), the pilot will focus on procedures relating to breast cancer in older people and cataract surgery.

The pilot is due to be completed in summer 2020. 

Although independent providers are able to contribute to a small number of programmes to improve clinical standards, including the National Joint Registry, independently-funded care is not currently included within the scope of the national clinical audit and patient outcomes programme (NCAPOP) which is commissioned and managed by HQIP. 

Danny Keenan, HQIP medical director, said the pilot will focus on how independent sector providers can flow their data into two audits, and establish what challenges they face. 

“We believe there are substantial benefits to involving independent providers in the national programme; as well as giving us a more comprehensive and reliable picture of the quality of care in the English health system, it builds on the work already undertaken by the IHPN to support their members within their own regulatory framework, which sees over 78% of independent sector hospitals rated good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission,” he stated. 

David Hare, chief executive of the IHPN, said the pilot is a key way of improving quality and transparency in the health system and ensuring patients can make the most informed decisions about their care. The pilot project will be supported by an advisory steering group that includes representation from Public Health England, the Private Healthcare Information Network, independent sector providers and NCAPOP audit providers.