Patient data policy

Collection of NHS Numbers

HCA Healthcare (HCA UK) is legally required to provide hospital performance data to the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), which publishes information on the quality and cost of privately funded healthcare.

PHIN’s goal is to help patients make more informed choices about where to go for treatment.

With your consent the data supplied to PHIN may include, your postcode and NHS number, CHI Number (Scotland), Health & Care Number (Northern Ireland) or, in the case of patients from outside the UK, a suitable equivalent identifier. If you are registered with an NHS doctor in the United Kingdom (UK) or have previously received treatment at an NHS Hospital, your NHS number is accessed through an NHS service called the Personal Demographic Service (PDS). HCA UK sends basic information such as your name, address and date of birth to the PDS so they can find your NHS number. Once retrieved from the PDS the NHS number is stored securely in your health record on HCA UK’s patient administration system, Meditech. Any processing of personal data shall be made in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and General Data Protection Regulations (in force as of 25/05/18).

PHIN receives the NHS Numbers (or their equivalent) for each record of care and passes a list of them to the relevant information authorities (e.g. NHS Digital), where a check is made for any related emergency hospital admissions or deaths occurring within a short time period (e.g. 30 days from discharge). The only way to identify these related instances of treatment is using your NHS Number (where one exists) as it is the link between the treatments received at HCA UK and any subsequent readmission to an NHS hospital.

PHIN states that it will not use a patient’s NHS Number for any purpose other than producing important measures of performance on safety and quality as explained in this notice.

The information that will be made available through PHIN includes volumes of procedures undertaken, average lengths of stay for each procedure, mortality rates, infection rates (separating surgical-acquired and facility acquired infection rates), the number of patients readmitted to hospital following surgery, revision surgery rates, the number of patients transferred to an NHS hospital from a private hospital, as well as measures of patient satisfaction and measures of improvement in healthcare outcomes following treatment, as well as the frequency of adverse events.

Publication will be made via the PHIN website in a format that will allow patients requiring hospital treatment and their doctors to search for local private hospitals by procedure and to compare how they perform in terms of quality and safety based on treatment data. Individuals are then able to make informed choices; which Consultant to see, which treatment option to follow, and at which hospital to be treated.

Publishing information on the quality and safety of care for private hospital facilities offers a number of potential public interest benefits:

•         Accountability: The use of data to hold private healthcare providers accountable for treatment outcomes.
•         Choice: Providing data to help patients and their GPs make informed choices from among the healthcare options available to them.
•         Efficiency: Improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of delivering healthcare.
•         Outcomes: Improving treatment outcomes by using data to make the results of different treatments, private healthcare organisations, and Consultants’ work more transparent.
•         Customer service: Using data to educate patients and their families and make private healthcare institutions more responsive.
•        HCA UK will not supply your name, date of birth, or full address to PHIN. PHIN is only concerned with understanding the treatment that hospitals and doctors provide, whether that treatment was safe and effective, and whether there were any complications.

An additional reason for obtaining the NHS Number relates to HCA UK’s intention to access the UK Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS) system in order to facilitate the sharing of information between health and local authorities where a child may be at risk of being neglected, maltreated or abused.

HCA UK ensures all the information it holds is kept safe and confidential.

You have the option to withhold your personal information, in which case we will only share an anonymised record of your treatment to PHIN, but will not provide your NHS Number (or equivalent) or postcode.

If you are not happy for HCA UK to pass on your NHS Number and Postcode to PHIN please select the relevant box on the patient registration / admission form and hand this to the facility where you are receiving treatment. If you subsequently change your mind please contact the facility where you were treated. Contact details are available on this website.

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