Private providers to get ‘refreshed’ medical governance framework 

The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) is updating its Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework (MPAF) in a bid to reinforce safety and quality measures in private care.

Currently, the document contains key principles of expected practice covering clinical governance structures, patient safety, clinical quality and continuous improvement, whole practice appraisal of clinicians, and raising and responding to staff and patients’ concerns. 

The Care Quality Commission has used the MPAF to inform how ‘well-led’ an independent acute provider is rated, with the ‘effective and robust implementation’ of the document considered as evidence of good governance.

According to IHPN chief executive David Hare, the ‘refresh’ will reflect the independent health sector’s commitment to continuously improving safety and quality.

‘Since the MPAF was launched in 2019, independent healthcare providers have really embraced the framework, using it to review and update their practices to further raise the bar in medical leadership in the sector,’ he said.

David Hare

‘With a continued focus among the entire healthcare system around improving patient safety and quality, it’s vital that the framework continues to evolve and accurately reflect the latest medical governance practices.’ 

Greater consistency

He said the update, supported by healthcare regulators and colleagues across the healthcare system, would help ensure greater consistency over how clinicians work across the independent sector and NHS.

And it should give patients confidence that independent healthcare providers were committed to delivering the safest possible care. 

The IHPN believes there must be a more ‘system-wide’ approach to patient safety, with effective and timely sharing of information with the NHS. 

Doctors will have to wait until September 2022 to see the revamped framework. Those working in Wales and Scotland are expected to be given slightly different versions.

New providers will be encouraged to implement the MPAF’s principles in their organisation.

A reference group will include private consultants and representatives from the NHS, royal colleges, patient groups, professional and systems regulators.

A copy of the framework can be found here.