PHIN and NHS Digital launch data alignment consultation

A consultation on the alignment of private healthcare and NHS data has been launched today by NHS Digital and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN)

The consultation, which comes in the wake of the Paterson Inquiry, marks a new phase in 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.

It has been endorsed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who said data alignment would help ‘improve transparency and raise standards for all’.

Under the proposals, PHIN will share the national dataset of private admitted patient care in England with NHS Digital, creating a single source of healthcare data in England.

NHS Digital will also pilot collecting data directly from independent providers on privately funded care within its Secondary Uses Service (SUS), consolidating the data reporting processes.

The data will be shared with PHIN, which will assess whether it is suitable to use for the publication of hospital and consultant performance information as mandated by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The initiative is not expected to increase the administrative burden on hospitals and, according to the consultation document, could reduce administration at private hospitals and NHS PPUs.

It is hoped ADAPt will support the recommendations set out by the Paterson Inquiry for a single repository of information on consultants’ practice across both the independent sector and the NHS.

PHIN CEO Matt James said the Inquiry showed joined-up information was essential for patients.

‘The ADAPt programme will make PHIN’s data on private healthcare more easily available to the NHS to improve governance. We encourage everyone to voice their support for this important initiative to improve patient safety,’ he added.

Commenting on the consultation, which will be hosted on the NHS Digital Consultation Hub, Independent Healthcare Providers Network CEO David Hare said: ‘The recent Paterson inquiry report rightly called for much more of a ‘whole systems’ approach to patient safety and data transparency.

‘In seeking to better align NHS and independent sector data, the ADAPt programme represents a key step towards the seamless flow of data along the patient journey – helping to ensure full visibility of the safety and effectiveness of care delivered by all providers, and enabling patients to make the most informed choices about their treatment.’