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Think tank calling for “office for patient outcomes” to be set up

5 April 2016

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A think tank is calling for greater accountability and transparency to improve patient outcomes and bring information together in one place.

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) wants the government to set up an office for patient outcomes (OPO) to provide “an independent, authoritative and more complete source of data” about NHS patient outcomes.

The SMF report was funded by medicines company Astra Zeneca which came up with the original idea.

The report’s author and SMF director Emran Mian (pictured) said patients “lack access to information to help them make their voices heard and drive further improvements.”

He called for a new body, based on the model of the Office for Budget Responsibility to provide clear information in the health and care system.

He added: “An Office for Patient Outcomes could substantially improve information and accountability.”

He called on the government to look at the work done by the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Mian argued that information about patient outcomes are spread over a range of reports and different reporting bodies with little coordination between them and there is little evidence that patients are using available information to hold the NHS to account.

He said there are gaps in the information reported and research suggests that the public has little awareness of the available data.

He proposed that an OPO would bring together information from the NHS Outcomes Framework, Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), and the Care Quality Commission in one place.

It would give patients more complete information in an accessible way, he said.