Both sectors need to share care data

Patient safety, highlighted in a major report from the Royal College of Surgeons of England last month, remains high on the agenda at the Independent Health­care Providers Network. David Hare explains why data sharing is vital.

Back in 2015, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt declared it his mission to make the NHS ‘the safest healthcare system in the world’. 

Since then, there has undoubtedly been an increase in momentum around ensuring that patient safety is the top priority for all healthcare providers, including those in the independent sector. 

Our front page in May revealed the college’s plan for greater scrutiny

And despite the change at the top of the Department of Health and Social Care with the arrival of Matt Hancock as Health Secretary last year, patient safety issues continue to make the press on an almost daily basis.

Indeed, the latest story to hit the news on this was a recent report from the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) called ‘Recom­mend­ations for assuring standards in the independent sector’.

This looks at what can be done to better align data collection and safety standards between the NHS and independent sector and learn lessons from the Ian Paterson case. 

At the heart of the RCS’s report is the acknowledgement that there has been significant progress made on this agenda in recent years. 

This includes a wide-ranging programme of work that the Ind­ependent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) has been doing to bring independent-sector providers together to understand what more needs to be done by providers, regulators and other key health bodies to ensure that patients can be confident of the care they receive, regardless of where they receive it.