New data on health outcomes and infections for private healthcare

image of a hospital and ambulance to show New data on health outcomes and infections for private healthcare

The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) has published new data on health outcomes and risk of infections for privately-funded patient healthcare in the UK.

According to the data, 98.8% of private patients treated either in an independent hospital or NHS Private Patient Unit reported improvement in their health following hip replacement surgery, while 95.3% of private patients reported improved health following private knee surgery.

This is the first time that information on health outcomes has been published for patients receiving privately-funded care in the UK, covering over 100 independent hospitals and NHS Private Patient Units.

Patients can also now get a clearer understanding of their risk of infection at 282 independent hospitals and NHS Private Patient Units, accounting for an estimated 85% of privately funded admitted patient care across the UK.

While it is not yet possible to draw meaningful comparison between individual hospitals, PHIN has published a guide to help patients understand what infection rates at different hospitals could mean for their care along with questions they should ask their care provider before treatment.

The infections data, covering the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019, show:

  • 305 reported Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) in the year across 1.4 million ‘bed days’ of care (the basis of comparison used by NHS authorities). These are serious infections such as MRSA bacteraemia.
  • E.coli is the most common healthcare-associated infection reported in private healthcare, with an overall rate of 9.3 in 100,000 bed days.
  • 58 reported Surgical Site Infections (SSI) across 28,900 patients undergoing hip and knee replacement procedures.
  • Privately-funded patients having hip or knee replacement surgery had a 0.2% risk of developing a SSI.

Much of the information published by PHIN is new and adds to the wealth of information already published about healthcare in the UK, which often focuses on NHS-funded healthcare. A detailed view of both datasets is available for download to help public bodies, researchers, clinicians and hospitals better understand and analyse services to private patients in the UK.

The publication of this information follows a 2014 investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which found there was a lack of information about quality, safety and price for patients considering private treatment in the UK.