PHIN has a very simple agenda: to produce good information about private healthcare and see that information used as widely as possible.

It should support patients in understanding their options, risks and costs when choosing the private healthcare sector. It should be used and valued by care professionals and providers to improve their care and services, as well as by policy makers, funders and others who each play their part in the system. Every step that brings us closer to these objectives is a good one.

We have made good progress in improving the information available to the public about private healthcare. However, clearly more is needed. As is evident in the recent Paterson Inquiry and Cumberlege Review recommendations, the public expects greater transparency about the quality and safety of healthcare services – whether NHS or private.

Over the last five years we have consulted closely with our members – the hospital operators, consultants, and medical insurers that comprise the private healthcare sector – as we collectively worked to establish the foundations of better information for patients. Of course, most people and organisations in sector are currently focused either on continuing to support the NHS through the national crisis of coronavirus, or trying to re-establish some normality in delivering care. It’s a challenging and uncertain time for all, but we must continue to look forward.

Over the next few years we must focus much more on the needs of patients: this whole undertaking is for their benefit, and can only succeed to the extent that it is used by them and helps them. How we do that, whilst continuing to provide value as broadly as possible, must be at the heart of our strategy for the next five years.

We have identified four key priorities which we believe will allow PHIN to better meet the needs of patients through our website, but also support wider initiatives – providing value to providers and stakeholders working to improve the quality and safety of services offered to patients. We also believe that PHIN has an important role in working alongside colleagues in the NHS to improve how data is collected and used. We want to be a positive voice for system change rather than seen as an additional administrative process.

The paper below outlines our proposed priorities and some key changes to how PHIN operates which we believe will help us achieve our mission. There are also six short videos from our Chief Executive, Matt James, explaining these priorities. But before we move forward, we want to hear your views. Over the next five weeks we’ll be meeting with patient groups, providers and stakeholders from across the system to discuss our priorities for the next five years, and if you have the time to spare we’d love to hear from you.

The consultation has now closed.

If you have any questions or comments, please do take the time to talk with myself or the team here at PHIN.

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