A consultation is open on recommendations that NHS England should collect and process information on healthcare activity carried out at private hospitals. Plans to create a single source of healthcare data in England to improve the quality of care for patients are the focus of a consultation which is part of the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt).
The programme would result in NHS-funded and private healthcare activity data being available in one place for the first time, offering a more comprehensive insight into the quality of treatment and care across both the NHS and private healthcare settings.
The consultation, which is open until 20 April 2023, comes after the Paterson Inquiry recommended bringing data on all consultant activity together in the same place. This followed the conviction of breast cancer surgeon Ian Paterson for performing harmful and unnecessary surgery on patients across both NHS and private settings.
The Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt) was set up in 2018 as a joint initiative between NHS Digital – now part of NHS England – and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN).
Pilot projects have shown that private providers are able to submit admitted patient care data directly to the NHS and that this has a number of benefits, especially where data on private hospital activity can be linked to information on NHS-funded care. This can provide insights such as the number of emergency readmissions following discharge from a private provider.
The public consultation sets out the details of how private healthcare hospital activity data will be collected and processed by NHS England, which merged with NHS Digital earlier this year.
James Austin, Director of Data Strategy and Policy at NHS England, said: “NHS data already plays an important role in how we provide high quality patient care and monitor safety reporting systems across the NHS. This vision of a single repository of healthcare information, combining NHS and private healthcare, will help provide better insights and lead to improved care and treatment for all patients across both the NHS and private healthcare sectors.
“Working jointly on the ADAPt programme has enabled us to see the benefits of how this might work. We’d now like to invite healthcare professionals, patient groups and individuals to share their views by responding to the consultation.”
A range of views are being sought, particularly on the use and benefits of combining NHS and private activity data within NHS centralised reporting systems.
People have until 20 April to respond to the consultation, by either completing an online questionnaire on the NHS England Digital Consultation Hub or emailing their comments to [email protected], and stating ADAPt Consultation in the subject line.