Plan to unify diverse governance systems

Coming your way in 2020 – the Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework. David Hare tells more about plans to bring together differing systems for monitoring doctors performance.

As Independent Practitioner Today reported last month, we at the Independent Healthcare Prov­iders Network (IHPN) are progressing a major package of work to improve the independent sector’s consistency in safety and medical governance. 

Indeed, with 1.9m acute patient journeys and rising across the independent sector every year, it is vital that both providers and clinicians are working together to do all they can to ensure patients receive the safest, highest quality of care and to drive forward continuous improvement. 

As part of this work, we asked former NHS England national medical director Sir Bruce Keogh to support us in designing a framework that would aid improvement and consistency in medical governance in the independent sector. 

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) believes this is a key area for improvement and the forthcoming Paterson Inquiry is likely to raise issues around how medical practitioners work with independent healthcare providers and how performance and scope of practice can be more effectively monitored. 

Expected practice

Our Medical Practitioners Assur­ance Framework (MPAF) launched after almost a year of consultation with independent sector providers, royal colleges, the Federation of Indep­endent Practitioner Organ­isations and the Indepen­dent Doctors Federation.

It identifies expected practice across several key areas including: clinical governance structures; patient safety, clinical quality and continuous improvement; supporting annual whole-practice appraisal; and raising and responding to concerns from staff and patients. 

Critically, it sets out a clear view of how providers and medical practitioners can work together to improve the assurance around clinicians working in both the NHS and independent sectors.

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