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Seven trusts forced to submit delayed private care data by October

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has started formal action against seven trusts that have failed to meet the deadline for publishing information on the quality of their private healthcare services.

After the authority’s investigation into the private healthcare sector, all hospitals that treated private patients were required to publish information about the quality of their services – including patient feedback on treatment, the performance of their professionals and data on infection rates, mortality rates and readmissions.

They were asked to submit this information to the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) quarterly from September last year, for publication from April this year.

But seven hospitals – Kettering General Hospital NHS FT, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS FT, Western Health & Social Care Trust, Northern Health & Social Care Trust, Tauton & Somerset NHS FT, Salford Royal NHS FT and Sandwell & Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust – have failed to meet the deadline.

They are being asked to provide this information by the end of October.

Adam Land, senior director of remedies at the CMA, emphasised that it is essential patients are given the necessary information on quality of care so they can choose the right provider for their specific needs.

“Although progress is being made, certain hospitals have failed to submit any information to PHIN for publication,” he continued. “The CMA is now starting formal proceedings against those hospitals which have made least progress towards compliance. We will take further action against any hospital that is not fully compliant.”

Andrew Vallance-Owen, chairman of the PHIN – which is “wholeheartedly” supporting the CMA’s action – argued that lessons from last year have shown “an absolute and urgent need for greater transparency in private healthcare in the UK”.

He added: “It’s time for private healthcare to do what other industry sectors have been doing for years which is to quantifiably measure success, identify and improve poor care, and allow good care to stand out.

“Ultimately this is about empowering patients with information that will help them understand and choose the best care for them or their families.”

(Top image c. Marbury)

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