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Private hospitals encouraged to be more transparent

Private hospitals are still not publishing vital quality data, despite requirements outlined by the Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) last year.

According to the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) Annual Report, some 151 hospitals are yet to provide any data, failing to comply with the CMA’s order.

Following an investigation into the private healthcare sector, all hospitals treating private patients were required by the CMA to provide PHIN with information about the quality of the service they provide. This includes patient feedback on treatment, the performance of healthcare professionals and information on infection rates, mortality rates and readmissions to hospital.

It has been just over a year since the Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order came into force, and in that time 230 private hospitals have not submitted data sufficient to be published by PHIN. This accounts for 44% of the private hospital sites called upon to submit data. Of these hospitals, 79 have submitted insufficient information, and more than 150 hospitals have not submitted data at all.

Seven trusts are now under investigation and facing action from the CMA as they have failed to comply in any form to the Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order.

Andrew Vallance-Owen, Chairman of PHIN, stated that:

Whilst there has been hard work from many hospital operators over the past year, overall we are disappointed by the rate of improvement we have seen in data submission and data quality from private hospitals.

PHIN’s role is to make better information available and in doing so reassure and empower patients and the public. However, we cannot reach that goal without the absolute commitment and action of private hospital operators to making that data available and to gaining the benefits of a better-informed public. Confidence will be won by producing hard evidence of quality and good care; trust will be won by the courage to be transparent about failings where they exist and to take appropriate action to drive improvement.”

Due to the lack of data, measures indicating risk of harm and health improvement have been delayed until 2018. Further to this, PHIN also took the decision to postpone the publication of measures for individual consultants.

Yet despite the set-backs, PHIN insists that important progress has been made.

Andrew Vallance-Owen continues:

Since early May, PHIN has published activity and performance measures covering 150 common procedures representing more than half a million privately-funded episodes of care delivered at some 285 hospitals across the United Kingdom. The publication of that information is, undoubtedly, a very significant step on a journey toward far greater transparency for patients and parity of information availability between private healthcare and the NHS.”

Going forward, the report identifies a clear vision for PHIN in 2018. They have promised to work at the pace of those hospitals most committed to helping patients, expediting publication of a full range of measures. PHIN pledge to begin publishing more detailed performance measures and are earnestly preparing for publication of consultant measures in 2018.

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Private hospitals encouraged to be more transparent

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