Plans to create a single source of healthcare data in England to improve the quality of care for patients are the focus of a consultation which is part of the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt).
The programme would result in NHS-funded and private healthcare activity data being available in one place for the first time, offering a more-comprehensive insight into the quality of treatment and care across both the NHS and private healthcare settings.
The consultation, which closed earlier this week, comes after the Paterson Inquiry recommended bringing data on all consultant activity together in the same place.
This followed the conviction of breast cancer surgeon, Ian Paterson, for performing harmful and unnecessary surgery on patients across both NHS and private settings.
The Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt) was set up in 2018 as a joint initiative between NHS Digital – now part of NHS England – and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN).
Pilot projects have shown that private providers are able to submit admitted patient care data directly to the NHS and that this has a number of benefits, especially where data on private hospital activity can be linked to information on NHS-funded care.
This can provide insights such as the number of emergency re-admissions following discharge from a private provider.
The public consultation set out the details of how private healthcare hospital activity data will be collected and processed by NHS England, which merged with NHS Digital earlier this year.
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 and we have asked healthcare professionals, patient groups, and individuals to share their views by responding to the consultation.”