The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) has announced that Founder and Chief Executive Matt James will step down this year after a decade in the role.

PHIN has begun the search for a successor, and the Board will ensure a managed transition.

Regarding his time with PHIN and decision to step down, Matt James said: 

“Establishing and running PHIN to be the organisation it is today has been a joy and a privilege. We have achieved so much, establishing data flows and an expectation of transparency on quality and cost in private healthcare that will benefit patients for years to come.
“There will of course be time for saying goodbyes and for more comprehensive reflections on what we have achieved. For now my focus is on ensuring that PHIN remains in a strong position to keep fulfilling its vital mission.
“We have an excellent Board and team, and we are now looking for the next leader to take this mission forward with renewed energy. In my remaining time in post I will continue to spend time both within the organisation and continuing to work closely with key stakeholders.
“It is particularly important to maintain progress on DHSC’s Paterson response, with key details on information for patients still under discussion.”

PHIN’s Chair, Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, who announced his own decision to step back in December 2021, commented: 

“I was grateful to Matt for encouraging me to take up the Chair of PHIN nearly 10 years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with him, although we have faced quite a few challenges along the way.
“Matt’s passion for PHIN’s mission, especially transparency and evidence-based information for healthcare consumers, has become well known and, building on his tremendous knowledge and experience, he has developed and encouraged an excellent team who have worked with him to deliver most of the elements of the CMA Order required of the organisation.
“Although his consistent advocacy for the independent sector and the interests of patients has not always been recognised, I believe he will be greatly missed when he does step down and, as I will no longer be in the Chair at that time, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all that commitment over the years to and send my very best wishes for the future, wherever it takes him. ”

Jayne Scott, who will take over the Chair from Vallance-Owen next month, added: 

“It has been a privilege to work with Matt over the last six years as Deputy Chair and he leaves PHIN in a very strong place to further develop the information available for patients in line with the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) order. Matt’s enthusiasm will be greatly missed, but he has left us with a strong foundation on which to start a new chapter of PHIN’s mission in partnership with our stakeholders. I wish him every success in his next endeavour.”

Established by Matt James and Chair Andrew Vallance-Owen in 2012, PHIN publishes information based on unique detailed data to help patients understand private healthcare and make meaningful choices of provider.

In 2014, PHIN was approved as the independent information organisation for private healthcare by the Competition & Markets Authority, obliging all private hospitals, private medical insurers and private consultants in the UK to work with PHIN, providing data and funding.

Adam Land, Senior Director at the Competition and Markets Authority, said:

“We’d like to thank Matt for his hard work and commitment toward developing an independent source of data on private healthcare, in line with the CMA’s 2014 Order. Under his leadership, the PHIN website has become an increasingly useful resource for patients.
“We now look to PHIN and hospital operators to take the further steps necessary to ensure patients get the remaining information they need about private healthcare options, enabling them to make more informed choices on which consultant or hospital is right for them. ”

PHIN has been closely involved in a range of public inquiries and national initiatives, and is co-chair of NHS Digital’s Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt), which will soon see PHIN’s private data routinely shared with the NHS. PHIN employs 40 people and has an income from its members of £4.5m.