Bupa has hit out at private hospitals for not publishing care quality measurements to match those from NHS trusts.
Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen and Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald of Bupa, call on hospitals to be more transparent about their clinical quality metrics by publishing them in the same way the NHS does. They find it hard to understand why the provision of clinical quality metrics remains so elusive in the private sector and conclude that the private sector must encourage fair competition and enable informed choice by patients and commissioners.
Bupa was prompted to contact private hospitals following the publication of the 2010 Dr Foster Hospital Guide, which includes a report card for every NHS hospital trust. Trusts must produce figures detailing their effectiveness in:
Preventing people from dying prematurely
Enhancing quality of life for people with long-term conditions
Helping people to recover from episodes of ill health or injury
Ensuring people have a positive experience of care
Treating and caring for people in a safe environment and preventing avoidable harm.
They are then rated red, amber or green when compared to the performance of all trusts generally.
Dr Macdonald comments, "Apart from very limited clinical information on the links to individual hospital websites, there is almost no comparative data to help patients compare private hospitals with others in the private sector, or the NHS.As no private hospitals have a report card published we presume there must be an agreement across the private hospital sector not to produce clinical data for this or similar publications. Private hospitals should publish this type of information and also be much more engaged in the collection of patient reported outcomes on private patients to enable proper comparisons within the private sector and with the NHS and to demonstrate the excellent standards of care in the private sector."