New pilot launched to include independent health providers in national clinical audits

Published: 02 Oct 2019

A new pilot is being launched to enable health procedures provided by independent healthcare providers in England to be included in future national clinical audits.

Jointly led by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), the pilot project will focus on procedures relating to breast cancer in older people and cataract surgery, with the pilot anticipated to be completed in summer 2020.

While independent providers are able to contribute to a small number of programmes to improve clinical standards, including the National Joint Registry, independently-funded care is not currently included within the scope of the national clinical audit and patient outcomes programme (NCAPOP) which is commissioned and managed by HQIP.

HQIP medical director Danny Keenan said:
“We’re very pleased to announce this pilot project to explore the feasibility of independent providers contributing to national clinical audits. The pilot will focus on how independent sector providers can flow their data into two audits, and establish what challenges they face.

“We hope that the results of the pilot will help to ensure that independent sector providers receive the right support in future to enable them to participate effectively in all relevant national clinical audits.

“We believe there are substantial benefits to involving independent providers in the national programme; as well as giving us a more comprehensive and reliable picture of the quality of care in the English health system, it builds on the work already undertaken by the IHPN to support their members within their own regulatory framework which sees over 78% of independent sector hospitals rated good or outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.”

David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network said:
“The independent sector plays a significant role in delivering healthcare in England, with independent acute providers treating over a million private and NHS patients every year. We’re therefore delighted that providers will have the opportunity to contribute to national clinical audits through this pilot with HQIP, which is a key way of improving quality and transparency in the health system and ensuring that patients can make the most informed decisions about their care.”

The pilot project will be supported by an advisory steering group that includes representation from:

  • Public Health England
  • Private Healthcare Information Network
  • independent sector providers
  • NCAPOP audit providers


Notes to editors
The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) is the representative body for independent sector healthcare providers of services ranging through acute, primary, community, clinical home healthcare, diagnostics and dental. Members of IHPN provide a diverse range of services to NHS and private patients.

HQIP aims to improve health outcomes by enabling those who commission, deliver and receive healthcare to measure and improve our healthcare services. HQIP commissions, manages, supports and promotes national and local programmes of quality improvement. This includes the national and local clinical audit programmes, the Clinical Outcome Review Programmes and the National Joint Registry on behalf of NHS England and other healthcare departments and organisations.