Today the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has issued a position paper outlining some of the key issues the private healthcare sector must address to provide patients with assurance about the quality of the services they offer.

The RCS acknowledge the role the CMA and PHIN have played in improving data standards and reporting, but highlight the need for more robust data reporting for privately funded healthcare, including the ability for private healthcare providers to submit to clinical registries and audits.

PHIN’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jon Fistein, has issued the following statement welcoming this intervention.

“The RCS has today rightly highlighted the incoherent approach to data reporting for privately funded healthcare in the UK. Patients receiving private treatment should have access to the same assurance over quality and safety as if they receive their care in the NHS. We are playing our part in addressing the lack of transparent reporting under our mandate from the Competition and Markets Authority, and we expect to publish the first hospital adverse event and health outcomes statistics this year. However, data reporting from private providers must improve so that we are able to publish accurate information to inform patient choice.
“A broader, more inclusive approach is also required so that data on privately funded healthcare is available within national reporting systems. PHIN and NHS Digital have taken the first steps along this process through the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt), but more needs to be done. We support the RCS call for private hospitals to be able to submit to all clinical registries and audits, and we continue working with NHS Digital, the CQC, the RCS and IHPN to push the case for a whole system approach to data reporting.”

Dr Jon Fistein

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, PHIN’s Chair, also welcomed the paper and called on hospitals to meet the challenge.

“I welcome the report from the Royal College of Surgeons. There is indeed much to be done to improve the quality of information available covering clinical performance in the sector. The sector has come a long way over the last couple of years and we hope that this report will further encourage private hospitals to evidence the care they provide, and allow PHIN to fully deliver on its mandate.”

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen