The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) has published initial performance data for over 1,000 consultants working across private healthcare in the UK.
Some 5,000 consultants – said to represent around half of admitted private healthcare in the UK – have been working with PHIN and hospitals to check private practice data and improve data quality.
Over 1,000 consultants have now completed the process by approving their performance information for publication on PHIN’s website.
As a result, more validated information will be available to patients considering private healthcare about the performance of individual consultants.
The move follows a market investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority which required more information to be made public on the performance of private hospitals and consultants.
PHIN had called on consultants to identify any issues or gaps in their data and rectify it before any information was made available publicly.
Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, chair of PHIN, said: “Over the past few years there has been a noticeable, positive shift from the medical profession towards embracing transparency.
“We hope that this will provide strong encouragement for other senior doctors to also review and approve their data, working with the hospitals at which they practise, to improve the quality of data where necessary.”
The measures published by PHIN include the number of patients treated by procedure and the average length of stay. These are the first of up to 11 measures that PHIN is required to publish under the mandate from the CMA.
It follows calls for greater data quality and transparency, and improved patient safety in private healthcare from medical bodies such as the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS).
RCS president Derek Alderson said: “We welcome the news coming from PHIN today as an important step for ensuring greater transparency about the activity consultants are undertaking in their private practice.
“That over 1,000 consultants have volunteered to publish information about the care they provide shows the commitment the profession has to improving patient safety and reducing risk. We encourage all our members to follow this lead and engage with PHIN.”
PHIN said the consultants reflected on its website represented “a broad range of specialties”, including orthopaedic surgeons, general surgeons and ophthalmologists.
From 2019, PHIN will begin publishing information on the fees that consultants charge for common procedures in their private practice.
Adam Land, senior director at the Competition and Markets Authority, said: “It is vital that people choosing private healthcare should have all the information they need before deciding on the best treatment for them.”