David Stewart, Executive Director, Mergers & Markets, Competition and Markets Authority has written to Ian Gargan, PHIN's Chief Executive, following the publication of PHIN’s evidence-based assessment (EBA). His letter and PHIN's response are below:

Dear Ian,

I am writing following PHIN’s publication of its evidence-based assessment (EBA) of the steps required to complete the Competition and Market Authority’s Private Healthcare Order’s Article 21 measures by the 2026 deadline.

We are pleased to see PHIN’s clear focus on, and detailed consideration of, how to deliver the Order in a way that ensures the greatest benefit to patients. We have considered the proposals set out in PHIN’s EBA and we support PHIN’s approach. In particular, we agree with PHIN’s focus on ensuring the quality of inbound data and on achieving broader compliance with the Order. We will continue to work closely with you in this respect to ensure the broadest possible coverage of the private healthcare sector, as well as the robustness of the measures published.

Furthermore, we also support your proposals to focus on the publication of:

  • data on privately-funded treatments in the first instance, while including broader performance information where relevant and possible;
  • performance information aggregated at the national level in order to provide context for patients when they are making decisions; and
  • performance information that is defined in ways that will serve to enhance patient understanding and engagement.1

We recognise both the complexities associated with publishing meaningful performance measures at the consultant level and the importance of ensuring that all published data / measures support informed decision-making amongst patients. We are pleased to see the plans to share consultant-level performance data within

PHIN’s portal as we expect this will bring significant benefits to patients via an increased awareness and understanding in the sector of patient outcomes and, as a result, increased sharing of best practice and consequent improvements in those outcomes.

However, we continue to see material scope for additional benefit from putting more good quality consultant-level performance information in the public domain for patients to access, where that can be done in a way that enables and supports informed patient choice. We look forward to working closely with PHIN and the private healthcare sector more broadly to determine how that can best be achieved."

1 We recognise that more detailed information may be collected and shared within PHIN’s portal as such information may be of greater relevance to clinicians and/or hospital managers.

Yours sincerely,

David Stewart
Executive Director, Markets & Mergers,
Competition and Markets Authority.

PHIN's response

Dear David,

Thank you for your letter of 20 April confirming the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) support for our evidence-based assessment (EBA) of the steps required to complete the Private Healthcare Order’s Article 21 measures by the 2026 deadline.

We are pleased that you recognise the clear focus and detailed consideration behind our approach to providing the greatest benefit to patients. We are also grateful for your continued support and look forward to maintaining our close working relationship with the team at the CMA as we progress towards full compliance across the sector.

In the first instance, we will be looking to deliver all Article 21 and 22 technical functionality, including support for improvements to data quality of submitted data before the end of 2024. We will also focus on achieving broader compliance with the Order to achieve consultant and hospital participation of at least 80% and 60% respectively.

In 2025 we expect to have increased participation to at least 90% and 80% respectively, with a view to reaching full compliance for both consultants and hospitals by the 2026 deadline.

PHIN is committed to creating the architecture, functionality and support to facilitate the delivery of the Order. We also recognise that the CMA has a key role in enforcing compliance where necessary to help achieve these targets.

Finally, our desire remains to see more good quality consultant-level information published to help patients in their private healthcare choices. We will work with the sector to improve data quality and progress with partnerships on data standards and approaches that make this possible.

This is a challenge we look forward to working on with the CMA and industry more widely, and which will be helped by the increasing quantity and quality of data available.

Thank you again for your letter expressing your support for our approach, we look forward to achieving the Order’s goals together.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Ian Gargan
Chief Executive

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