There were 21 “wholly preventable” patient safety incidents of the most serious category at private hospitals last year, new data has shown, as NHS bosses prepare to invest up to £10bn in the sector.
This is the first time that a comprehensive dataset of 'never events’ within private hospitals has been published in the UK, and comes ahead of plans to outsource both inpatient and outpatient services, routine surgery operations and cancer treatment to private providers.
The audit conducted by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), established in 2014 to bring greater transparency to the private health sector, showed that 287 out of 595 private hospitals and NHS private patient units (PPUs) provided information on Never Events between 1 January and 31 December 2019.
This group accounts for an estimated 86 per cent of privately-funded admitted patient care, PHIN said. It attributed the “gaps in the data” to NHS PPUs, rather than independent hospitals.
The fact that more than 300 hospitals or PPUs were unable or unwilling to hand over this data highlights the private sector’s continuing lack of transparency, said the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, a social care and health think tank.
Source: The Independent, 2 September 2020