Data alignment between NHS and private hospitals moves a step closer as pilots launched

New pilots to test the alignment of NHS and private hospital data have been launched by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) and NHS Digital.

The move marks a major milestone for the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt) – a joint initiative between NHS Digital and PHIN aimed at bringing data standards, measurement and reporting systems used in the private sector in line with those used in the NHS.

Following a consultation last year, which showed overwhelming support for the programme, ADAPt is seeking hospitals to take part in the pilots, which will test the technical changes needed to transfer the collection of private admitted patient data from PHIN to NHS Digital.

The ADAPt programme was initiated by the Secretary of State for Health in 2018 in the wake of the Paterson case and aims to develop a comprehensive national dataset of public and private hospital data in England. Data gathered from the pilots will be fed onto PHIN to facilitate the publication of whole-practice performance measures for hospitals and consultants offering private healthcare services, in line with the Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order 2014.

Eventually, it is expected that the national dataset will be made available through NHS Digital to regulators and public bodies to assist monitoring of safety and help drive service improvement.

PHIN CEO Matt James said the move was an important step towards full implementation of data alignment between the NHS and private sector.

‘We are committed to a vision of a single system of data collection for all regulated care regardless of how it is funded or where it is provided, led by the NHS. This will enable better governance and regulation to ensure safer care, and better information becoming available to patients to enable informed decisions,’ he said.

Minister for patient safety Nadine Dorries said: ‘I’m grateful to see lessons are being learned and acted upon following the harrowing findings of the Paterson Inquiry, with processes being put in place to improve accountability and patient safety in the independent healthcare sector.’

Independent hospitals and NHS sites providing private care can register their interest in taking part in the programme by emailing [email protected].