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Concern over lack of ISTC patient data

13 September 2007

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The Healthcare Commission are calling for the Department of Health (DH) to make independent sector patient care statistics available, whether they are NHS patients or not.

The Commission wants to use the independent patient care statistics to judge the comparative performance of the NHS.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said at the Independent Healthcare Convention that independent sector treatment centers (ISTCs) have so far provided general not specific patient information, and more detail is needed.

“In this information age, patients need to have information on which they can judge the comparative quality of healthcare services – pubic and private,” she says.

“This information is also needed to ensure effective purchasing of services for patients.”

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She adds that to achieve this, a partnership is needed between the DH, Connecting for Health, The Information Centre and regulators.

Underpinning systems that collect the information and check it is appropriate would also have to be put in place, she says.

“To collect this information would be a major step in establishing a single information database,” she says.

“Regulation could become ‘lighter touch’ as information speaks for itself and helps the regulator focus only on areas of key risk.”

Healthcare Commission

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