Memorandum by the Independent Healthcare
Association (PST 39)
The Independent Healthcare Association (IHA)
is the leading trade association for the United Kingdom's independent
health and social care providers. Our members include acute hospitals,
mental health hospitals and substance misuse units, nursing and
residential care homes, providers of domiciliary care, pathology
laboratories and screening units.
The independent sector provides more than one
million surgical procedures each year, has 220 hospitals providing
acute care, and more than 70 acute mental health hospitals and
substance misuse units. In terms of community care provision,
there are 17,800 homes caring for over 443,000 people. This translates
into 80% of all residential community care beds in the entire
healthcare sector. The workforce comprises of three quarters of
a million staff.
The IHA promotes the highest standards in independent
health and social care and strives to influence the policy debate
on the future of health and social care in Britain. IHA therefore
welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Public Administration
Select Committee's inquiry into public service targets and league
tables and update the Committee on developments in the independent
Practically all the UK's public services (including
many organisations that are now that are now in the private sector)
are now required to publish information about how well they are
The IHA has initiated a sector-wide project
on the collection of Key Performance Indicators across acute and
mental health providers. The work is being project managed by
UK QIP (Quality Indicators Project) which is based at the University
Independent sector acute and mental health providers
also collect patient satisfaction data which the IHA Executive
would be pleased to provide examples of should the Committee wish
to see them. The IHA Executive is currently working with the National
Care Standards Commission on a project whereby patient satisfaction
data would become more standardised across the sector.
Many independent providers also collect SF 36
(Short Form 36) data which has become the most widely used example
of a general health status questionnaire. Comprising 36 multiple
choice questions, SF-36 allows an individual to give an assessment
of eight aspects of their own health, which can be further reduced
to a pair of mental and physical summary scores. It is not specific
to one specialty, but is a generic tool designed for use in clinical
practice and research.
National standards mean working with hospitals,
schools, police forces and local government to agree tough targets,
and to see performance independently monitored so people can see
how local services compare.
Independent sector providers collect robust
and in depth data and follow a collection of National Minimum
Standards as set out by the National Care Standards Commission.
Furthermore as a condition of IHA membership, all IHA acute and
mental health member hospitals are required to have achieved a
recognised quality assurance accreditation. The IHA acknowledges
the following quality accreditation schemes: Health Quality Service,
Healthcare Accreditation Programme and the ISO 9000 series.
"The Public Service Ethos", the
first product of the Committee's overarching inquiry into the
Government's programme of public service reform, looked, among
other things, at the question of private involvement in service
For information, the Independent Healthcare
Association is the organisation that signed a Concordat on behalf
of independent acute providers with the Department of Health entitled
For the Benefit of Patients: A Concordat with the Private and
Voluntary Health Care Provider Sector. The Concordat is designed
to facilitate independent providers treating NHS patients for
acute elective, critical care and intermediate care. The IHA also
signed Building Capacity and Partnership in Care: An agreement
between the statutory and the independent social care, health
care and housing sectors with the Department of Health on
behalf of independent long-term care providers.
Over the past 18 months, the IHA has monitored
on a monthly basis the amount of acute elective NHS work undertaken
by IHA members across the UK. Should you wish to see this work,
please do contact me.
16. IS THERE
It is critical that in order for data to be
credible it must take into account the difference in patient mix
between the NHS and the independent sector. The IHA has successfully
made this point to the research organisation "Dr Foster",
which is the organisation that has published a number of "performance
tables" across the NHS and independent sector. "Dr Foster"
recognised the different patient mix and adjusted certain of its
Finally, should you wish to follow-up any of
the points raised in this response, please do not hesitate to
contact me at the Independent Healthcare Association.
Head of Operational Policy