NHS Digital and PHIN announce hospitals for pilot of national data alignment programme

NHS Digital and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) have announced the first healthcare providers that are set to take part in pilots of the Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt), a new national data alignment programme between the NHS and private sector.

The collaboration will lead to private healthcare data being integrated into NHS systems for the first time and the creation of a “comprehensive national dataset” of  ‘whole practice’ information from both NHS and private hospital care providers in England.

As HTN reported, both organisations announced the pilot testing phase for the collection of private hospital data earlier this year, in January 2021.

The jointly-led ADAPt pilots will feature a range of healthcare providers who volunteered to be part of the project, including:

  • Epsomedical
  • GenesisCare UK
  • HCA Healthcare
  • London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Schoen Clinic
  • Spire Healthcare.

Both the NHS and PHIN cite the “Independent Inquiry into rogue breast surgeon Ian Paterson”, who provided “unsanctioned and unnecessary treatment” to patients across both NHS and private hospitals, as an evidence of need for linked up health datasets to be shared between sectors.

According to both organisations, the pilots will be used to test the “technical changes and governance requirements” needed to “transfer the collection of private admitted patient data from PHIN into NHS Digital”, with the new national dataset expected to be made available through the latter’s data sharing services.

Regulators and public bodies will be able to monitor this for safety purposes and to “help drive service improvement”, while PHIN will be able to use it to “support its legal requirement to publish whole-practice performance measures” for both hospitals and consultants that are offering private services.

Matt James, Chief Executive of PHIN, said of the news: “It is great to have reached the operational testing stage of this very important partnership programme, and we’re grateful to the hospitals that have volunteered to participate, particularly during the challenges of the ongoing pandemic. This is a vital step in moving towards a more joined-up approach to managing healthcare data, and will lead to significant improvements in the use of information to promote patient safety. We hope that these pilots will enable ADAPt to become fully operational in 2022.”

Fran Woodard, Executive Director of Data Services at NHS Digital, added: “We are pleased that the first pilot sites are ready to take part in the ADAPt programme and improve patient safety through a more joined-up approach between the NHS and private sector.

“This is an important step on the road to recommendations for rolling out the sharing of in-patient hospital data across the healthcare system and we look forward to analysing the first results from these pilots.”