Competion body to pester doctors

LaingBuisson Private Healthcare Summit 2024

Reports by Robin Stride

Consultants and hospitals have again been warned they face legal action if they continually fail to comply with requirements of the Private Healthcare Market Order, which requires them to provide data to the Private Healthcare Inform­ation Network (PHIN).

Andrew Land, senior director at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), said they should not wait to be contacted but ‘take action now’.

He told the conference: ‘PHIN are here to help you become compliant. It is the law; we will enforce it, we will enforce against people who fail to comply.’

Ten thousand consultants are said to be compliant with the competition law so far, but many are not and, between February and March 2024, enforcement action was taken against 40 larger hospital providers. They have delivered action plans and all must be compliant by 3 July. 

The CMA wants providers to provide the required data on a routine basis and while many are making the effort, others were not – and that was unfair on patients, said Mr Land.

Providers who fail to comply after chivvying face being named and shamed and ultimately taken to court. 

He said that better information:

 Drove consultants and hospital owners to deliver higher-quality treatment, increased choice, innovation and lower prices;

 More informed and engaged patients supported choice between hospitals and among consultants;

 Consultants and hospitals benefited from greater user awareness of their services and how to get them, and consumers became more confident in using private healthcare;

 Compliance lead to quicker identification of and action on outlying poor performance.