All private hospitals in the UK will have to publish an annual report, making it possible for the first time ever to make direct comparisons between private and NHS hospitals.
The chief executive of the National Health Service, David Nicholson, disclosed this information adding that a side-effect of the report will be that there will be a greater amount of information about the actual numbers of patients opting to go private in the UK.
The requirement to publish annual figures on death rates and other quality measures has been in force in NHS public hospitals for some time. The new requirement for private hospitals was revealed by David Nicholson speaking to MPs at a Commons health committee. As from next year, the same regulatory system will deal with both private and NHS hospitals.
According to a report in the Financial Times, the announcements has been welcomed by David Worskett, director of the NHS Partners Network, which represents private providers of NHS care.
He said on Monday that his members, which include Spire, Care UK, Nuffield Hospitals and General Healthcare, were commissioning “an independent sector-wide approach to collating and presenting patient outcome data”.
“Independent sector providers live or die by their quality,” he said, “so we have no problem at all with that. There may be some arguments over the technicalities of what is presented in annual quality reports and how. But there will be absolutely no argument about the principle.”