Today’s announcement by the IHPN of the new Consultant Oversight Framework marks an important step in the UK private healthcare sector’s response to the Paterson Inquiry / Bishop of Norwich’s Inquiry, which is due to report later this year. It underlines the sector’s commitment to universalise good practice to ensure quality and the proper oversight of consultants who practice independently at private sector hospitals. It forms part of a wider private sector response which includes the recently announced Consultant information sharing system a commitment to engage with the NHS over audit and multi-disciplinary team working where required.
Other responses have included the Government consultation on changes to the indemnity system for private Consultants, and the proposals for the extension of clinical audit and participation in national reporting systems to include the private sector.
There remain some complex issues to be resolved in balancing the sharing of information and protection of individual rights, as well as the need to avoid the drive for safety to have anti-competitive effects.