Patient safety data across the UK public (National Health System, NHS) and private healthcare sectors to be gathered in a single online database. Two organisations, NHS Digital and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) have opened a consultation on the database as part of the next phase of the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt), a programme to align private healthcare data with NHS recorded activity.
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The first phase of the ADAPt project focussed on publication of information such as average length of stay, infection rates and mortality rates.
This step follows the Paterson Inquiry report, released in the beginning of February. The Inquiry reviewed medical malpractice following the conviction of surgeon Ian Paterson and recommended setting up a single data repository.
Under the proposed changes, the PHIN national dataset of private patient care would be shared with NHS Digital, allowing to consistently record activity, quality and risk in single source of healthcare data in England.
In order to unburden the hospitals from the administrative work, NHS Digital also aims for direct collection of data from independent private providers within its secondary uses service. The service handles anonymised reports and statistics on patient records for research, planning and service delivery purposes. This information is planned be shared with PHIN.
This, according to PHIN CEO Matt James, will make private healthcare more transparent in terms of regulation and governance. The implementation of the new data system would take three to five years. “The more we can do to join data on private and NHS care together, the more we can improve patient safety,” he said in a comment to HSJ.
The consultation, hosted on the NHS Digital Consultation Hub, ends on 31 March. Invited to provide their input are private and NHS providers, clinicians, the public and other organisations with an interest in private healthcare.
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