NHS Digital and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) have launched a consultation as part of the next phase of a programme to align private healthcare data with NHS recorded activity.
The consultation sets out a series of changes to how data is recorded and managed across private and NHS care, along with a series of pilot projects.
It aims to seek the views of private and NHS providers, clinicians, the public and other organisations with an interest in private healthcare and will be used to help shape the future changes.
The consultation, which has been launched following the publication of the Paterson Inquiry, will be hosted on the NHS Digital Consultation Hub.
Under the changes proposed in the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt), PHIN will share the national dataset of private admitted patient care in England with NHS Digital, creating a single source of healthcare data in England.
This recommendation has been supported by recommendations in the Paterson Inquiry to create a single repository for practice of consultants in private and public healthcare across England.
The repository will be underpinned by common standards to record and report activity, quality and risk in a consistent way across both sectors.
It aims to allow providers, care planners, regulators and researchers to better understand how private and public healthcare data sits alongside each other and how it can be used to deliver better care.
NHS Digital will also pilot collecting data directly from independent providers on privately funded care within its Secondary Uses Service (SUS), consolidating the data reporting processes and reducing the administrative burden on hospitals.
This data will be shared with PHIN so they can assess whether it would be suitable to use for the publication of hospital and consultant performance information as mandated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Paterson Inquiry highlighted the shocking failures that can occur when information is not shared and acted upon in both the NHS and independent sector.
“We are working tirelessly across the health system to deliver the highest standards of care for patients. Trusted data is absolutely critical to this mission and the ADAPt programme will help improve transparency and raise standards for all,” he claimed.
Matt James, chief executive of PHIN, said 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,” he stated.