PHIN welcomes intervention on transparency from the Secretary of State.

The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) today welcomed the intervention of Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, encouraging greater transparency of data indicating risk, safety, and quality from independent hospitals.

In a letter to the 206 independent acute hospitals inspected by the Care Quality Commission, Jeremy Hunt acknowledged the progress made by PHIN, but called for the sector to “move much faster to achieve alignment with NHS standards”. In his letter, Jeremey Hunt supports the publication of surgical outcomes by clinician and asks for specific assurance from all providers that they are submitting comprehensive data sets to PHIN.

Andrew Vallance-Owen, Chair of the Private Healthcare Information Network, Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, said “This is a very welcome intervention from the Secretary of State. Alignment with NHS data standards is long-overdue, both for NHS funded patients and patients who choose to use insurance or self-fund part of their care in independent hospitals.

The majority of independent providers are now submitting data to PHIN in line with their legal obligations. However, true transparency relies not only on the availability of data but for that data to be sufficiently detailed and accurate to support publication of a full range of meaningful performance indicators by PHIN. The intervention today from the Secretary of State will send an important message to independent providers about the need to not simply engage with PHIN, but to really embrace data transparency as a central part of clinical governance and service improvement.

We will continue to work closely with the CQC, NHS Digital and the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure they are kept informed with the progress made by individual sites in submitting data that allows PHIN to publish meaningful and robust information for patients.

The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) is the independent, government-mandated source of information on privately funded care in the UK. We believe that transparency and better data enable better care, and we exist to support patient choice and to provide data that helps drive improvement across private healthcare.

As the official Information Organisation under the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order 2014, PHIN is responsible for collecting quality and safety data on privately funded healthcare in the UK and publishing performance measures through our website.