In response to the Royal College of Surgeon’s position paper ‘Recommendations for assuring standards in the independent sector’, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:
“Providing safe, high-quality care for patients is the top priority for independent healthcare providers, and in their recent report the Care Quality Commission rated over 70% of acute independent hospitals as good or outstanding.
“However the case of Ian Paterson – who worked in both the NHS and the independent sector – highlighted the need to ensure that governance processes across the healthcare system are more effectively mitigating against any criminal or negligent practice from clinicians. This includes ensuring that data systems are more effectively aligned across the NHS and independent sectors, building on the extensive amount of data already submitted by NHS and independent providers, to flag up issues or concerns.
“We have successfully lobbied to ensure that independent sector providers are permitted to submit more data to key national safety systems and participate in more clinical audits and, as the RCS report makes clear, there is real momentum behind this work. However further work is needed to allow the sector to participate in the full range of NHS datasets and clinical audits and it is now vital that all those involved in better aligning NHS and independent sector data maintain the momentum.”
Notes to editors:
• In 2017, breast surgeon Ian Paterson was convicted of multiple charges of wounding with intent after he carried out unnecessary and harmful procedures on hundreds of women at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and two Spire hospitals.
• Improving data alignment between the NHS and the independent sector is one part of the wider programme of work being carried forward by IHPN in response to the government-commissioned review of the events surrounding the case of Ian Paterson, which is being led by the Bishop of Norwich. Other work includes:
- The development of a Consultant Oversight Framework to be led by former NHS England Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh articulating best practice across the sector in ensuring the highest possible standards of clinical governance in independent acute hospitals. This work will look at monitoring scope of clinical practice, the flow of information across the whole health system, and excellence in multidisciplinary team working
- Improving the sharing of information between independent sector providers and Private Medical Insurers
- Improving arrangements for clinical indemnity for those clinicians working in the independent acute sector that deliver privately-funded healthcare services
- Developing a single repository about a consultants’ whole practice across the independent sector and NHS
- Joint best practice workshops including with the CQC on spreading best practice in key areas including safety, leadership, effectiveness, caring and responsiveness.
- IHPN observer status of NHS Digital’s ADAPt (Acute Data Alignment Programme) Board which works to integrate data on privately funded healthcare into NHS systems to increase transparency and help drive up standards in both sectors.