Tighter vetting to aid patient safety

The group representing private care providers said the assurance framework was a boon for patients. 

David Hare, boss of the Indepen­dent Healthcare Providers Network said it would give confidence to patients that independent healthcare providers were committed to delivering the safest possible care. 

MPAF’s expectations include consistency in recruitment processes of directly employed consultants, ongoing performance management, appraisal and review.

Consultants are required to submit data about the quality of their performance to relevant national registries available to the sector and to the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN). 

Providers will want assurance that doctors are participating in quality improvement activities on application for, or review of, practising privileges.

Practitioners would have to share as a minimum their summary appraisal outcomes and personal development plan to inform a practising privileges review. If this failed to give enough information to enable a decision, then they would have to provide additional relevant information from the whole practice appraisal.

The MPAF says bigger hospital groups should appoint a clinician as a national lead for clinical governance and consider appointing local or regional lead consultants to support them.

It wants relevant governance information about doctors’ performance, including activity data, shared quickly, possibly using a new standard sector-wide template, plus clarity on how the unit’s medical advisory committee or similar body works and fits into the overall clinical governance structure. 

Health lawyers Browne Jacobson said the MPAF provided welcome clarity on what expected practice is and an excellent opportunity for organisations to review their systems and processes. It was ‘a much needed part of the toolkit for Resp­onsible Officers and independent healthcare organisations.’ 

 Sir Bruce was supported by an expert advisory group including representatives from royal colleges, the CQC, GMC, NHS England & Improvement, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Patients Association and HCA.  

See ‘How practising privileges will be regulated’