By Agnes Rose
People considering private healthcare now have more information than ever before following the publication of new data about serious injuries incurred by patients in the sector.
The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) figures reveal there were 22 instances where patients sustained serious injuries while receiving private treatment across the UK during the 12-months up to the end of September 2021.
A total of 734,000 people received private healthcare treatment in this time.
The injuries relate to the most serious incidents which are reportable by law to health regulators such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
PHIN said these are defined as permanent injuries to bodily, sensory, motor, physiologic or intellectual functions and may include permanent damage to vision or nerves, removal of the wrong limb or organ or brain damage.
Patients can now search for this information on PHIN’s website, alongside support and guides to help them decide which provider is best for their care.
PHIN chief executive Matt James said: ‘The availability of good data is vital to learning and improvement, and this publication represents another step toward real transparency on safety and outcomes.
‘It is too early to draw any meaningful conclusions from comparisons between providers or with the NHS.
‘We applaud those hospitals that have provided complete data and encourage those who have not to do so.
‘As a patient, I would insist on being treated in a hospital that reports openly on its care and can show how data is used to improve safety and quality. It is easy to find those hospitals on PHIN’s website.’
PHIN published the information as part of its role to support people considering private healthcare with details about safety, quality and costs.