An enforcement letter to Phoenix Hospital Group concerning failure to comply with its legal obligations has been published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The group has been given until 30 November to secure full compliance with requirements. It is being helped by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), which reported yesterday that the group had ‘responded positively to ensure that the required data will now be submitted’.
Phoenix was told by the CMA it had failed to provide PHIN with key information, including details on patient care and health outcomes.
Adam Land, a senior director at the competition watchdog, said in correspondence that submitted data needed to be sufficiently detailed to enable PHIN to publish information about the hospital and consultants working there ‘to inform patient choice’.
Ongoing failure to give this was a breach of Article 21 of the Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order 2014.
He wrote: ‘We are concerned that by failing to provide information as required to PHIN, you are undermining the effectiveness of the Order, and undermining the ability for patients to make appropriate choices in the private healthcare sector.’
The CMA considered that since the Order had been in place for over six years, the group had enough time to comply, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
He continued: ‘The CMA now expects you to comply with your legally binding obligations under the Order. We note that you have now provided a plan to become compliant with all the relevant provisions of the Order by November 2023 by:
- Providing NHS record numbers of patients to PHIN by October 2023;
- Providing anaesthetic codes to PHIN by July 2023;
- Providing the correct details for the main operating care professional to PHIN by July 2023;
- Providing the correct primary operating code to PHIN by July 2023;
- Fully integrating Patient Reported Outcome Measures into care pathways by November 2023;
- Providing patient satisfaction data to PHIN by August 2023.’
Eight unaddressed consultant issues were now fixed, he said, adding:
‘Phoenix Hospital Group must ensure that it complies with the Order in full. The CMA has powers to issue legally binding Directions to businesses that fail to comply with its Orders.
‘However, provided you achieve full compliance in line with your plan by no later than 30 November 2023, the CMA would not consider it necessary to take further formal enforcement action in relation to these breaches. The CMA will monitor Phoenix Hospital Group’s future compliance closely.’