Shared data still has a long way to go

The Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations (FIPO) here gives its response to a consultation on changes to how private healthcare data is collected and made available within NHS reporting systems.

Analysis of Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) provides a valuable insight into healthcare provision in the UK. 

There are some key differences in coding, recording and datasets between the public and private sectors, which make it difficult to draw direct comparisons between the two sectors. 

The Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations (FIPO) supports the alignment of data sets for HES across the NHS and private sectors, in order to provide clarity.

The private sector uses the Clin­ical Coding and Schedule Devel­opment Group (CCSD) codes for recording procedures, whereas the NHS uses OPCS-11. These are not directly comparable, although the data requirements of the Private Healthcare Inform­ation Network (PHIN) mean that OPCS coding has now also been adopted. 

Meaningful comparisons

Also, diagnostic coding – such as ICD-4 in the NHS – is needed to assess case complexity. This is currently not comprehensively recorded in the private sector.