Total transparency is needed to gain trust


Sharing outcome data


Dr Cliff Bucknall

By Dr Cliff Bucknall,
Chief medical officer, HCA Healthcare UK

I am delighted to have the opportunity to write about safety in the sector. Anyone who works in healthcare, private or NHS, will tell you that their number-one priority is providing the best possible care to patients.

This means safe, effective, high-quality care. That pursuit of quality and safety provides us with a common thread.

In recent months, safety in the private sector has come under increased scrutiny. But scrutiny is no bad thing. In fact, we should welcome it. We have the opportunity to set the record straight. With scrutiny there also comes the opportunity to improve where needed.

With that in mind, we have set up an initiative at HCA to help demonstrate our standards and drive further improvement. It centres on transparency and data.

We believe all patient care in the UK should be measured in exactly the same way – whether NHS or private. Currently, divergence exists which makes it harder for patients and government to compare the care being provided.

Without that comparison, it’s harder to really assess the care in the private sector and be reassured of safety standards on a national scale – not just in comparison in one sector of healthcare.