NHS England has plans to merge data with private healthcare institutions to process and share information on healthcare activity
This single source of healthcare data aims to improve the quality of care for patients in both the NHS and in private healthcare, offering more insight into the quality of treatment and care across both settings.
With a focus on consultation, as part of the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt), the merge will see NHS-funded data and private healthcare activity data being available in one place.
A range of views are being sought, and people are being invited to share their views on the use and benefits of combining NHS and private activity data within NHS centralised reporting systems.
Sharing data for treatment in the NHS and private healthcare settings
Should the NHS collect and process information on healthcare activity carried out at private hospitals?
The plan to merge comes after the Paterson Inquiry recommended bringing data on all consultant activity together in the same place, after the conviction of breast cancer surgeon Ian Paterson for performing harmful and unnecessary surgery on patients across both NHS and private settings.
Private providers can submit admitted patient care data directly to the NHS with a number of benefits
Other pilot projects demonstrate private providers being able to submit admitted patient care data directly to the NHS with a number of benefits – such as data on private hospital activity being linked to information on NHS-funded care.
This can provide insights such as the number of emergency readmissions following discharge from a private provider.
“A single repository of healthcare information”
James Austin, Director of Data Strategy and Policy at NHS England, said: “NHS data already plays an important role in how we provide high quality patient care and monitor safety reporting systems across the NHS.
“This vision of a single repository of healthcare information, combining NHS and private healthcare, will help provide better insights and lead to improved care and treatment for all patients across both the NHS and private healthcare sectors.
“Working jointly on the ADAPt programme has enabled us to see the benefits of how this might work. We’d now like to invite healthcare professionals, patient groups and individuals to share their views by responding to the consultation.”
According to NHS England, those who wish to have a say have until 20 April to respond to the consultation, by completing an online questionnaire on the NHS England Digital Consultation Hub.