IHPN announce “refresh” of medical governance framework for independent providers

IHPN have today announced it will be launching a “refresh” of its Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework (MPAF) to further improve the safety and quality of care independent providers deliver to patients.

Launched in October 2019, the MPAF – led by former National NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh – contains key principles to strengthen and build upon the medical governance systems already in place in the sector. Since then, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has used the framework’s principles to inform how “well-led” an independent acute provider is rated, with the “effective and robust implementation” of the MPAF considered as evidence of good governance.

The principles contained in the MPAF set out expected practice in a number of key areas, including clinical governance structures; patient safety, clinical quality and continuous improvement; whole practice appraisal of clinicians; and raising and responding to concerns from staff and patients. Underpinning the framework is the need to take a more “system wide” approach to patient safety, including the effective and timely sharing of information with the NHS.

The MPAF was always designed to be a “live document” and since it launched over two years ago, IHPN have been looking at areas where the framework can be further strengthened. Today’s announcement of a “refresh” builds on this work and will ensure the MPAF continues to reflect contemporary consensus view of expected practice. The refresh will also be an opportunity to further embed the framework within the independent healthcare sector, as well as encourage new providers to implement its principles within their organisation.

This work will be led by IHPN and supported by a reference group consisting of representatives from independent providers, the NHS, Royal Colleges, patient groups, professional and systems regulators and consultants in private practice.

The refresh is due to be published in September 2022 and conversations are continuing around developing Wales and Scotland-specific frameworks.

David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) said:

“IHPN are delighted to be launching today a new refresh of our Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework (MPAF), reflecting the independent health sector’s commitment to continuously improving the safety and quality of care they deliver to millions of patients every year.

“Since the MPAF was launched in 2019, independent healthcare providers have really embraced the framework, using it to review and update their practices to further raise the bar in medical leadership in the sector.

“With a continued focus amongst the entire healthcare system around improving patient safety and quality, it’s vital that the framework continues to evolve and accurately reflect the latest medical governance practices.

“This refresh, supported by healthcare regulators and colleagues across the healthcare system, will further ensure greater consistency around how clinicians work across the independent sector and NHS, and should give confidence to patients that independent healthcare providers are committed to delivering the safest possible care.”