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GPs to have individual outcomes data published, claims NHS statistics chief

GPs will have their individual clinical outcomes data published so that patients can assess whether they are effective and safe, says the head of the NHS statistics body.

Setting out his priorities for the future, Health and Social Care Information Centre chair Kingsley Manning said that they were working on providing clearer data around individual GP performance to NHS England and the CQC.

He also said that the ‘direction of travel’ was also to publish this information – in a similar way to the recent publication of outcomes data for surgeons – to enable patients to assess their own GP.

Responding to a question at the E-Health Insider conference in Birmingham today on whether the UK would emulate the Swedish approach to publishing, and sharing health outcomes data with the public, Mr Manning noted that the system a similar system had already been implemented for surgeons, saying:

He said: ‘Bruce Keogh has already started publishing outcomes data by identifiable physicians, they will do next year, and surgeons.

‘As we collect the data - the NHS England rank - we will begin to be able to provide much more clear data around, for example, individual GP performance.

‘So the answer to your question is, yes, but this will be a process in partnership, very strongly in partnership with CQC. We’re already in dialogue with chief inspectors there, and with NHS England about how best to deal with it.’

‘But ultimately, we have to have transparency, people need to know whether or not the service being provided by an individual physician, clinician, is safe and effective.’

‘So that is the direction of travel, I don’t have any doubt about that.’

Mr Manning also cited four key themes to be addressed by HSCIC by 2015, which is the centre responsible for administering the controversial extractions from GP records, including promoting patient trust in the holding of information.

He said:  ‘We are in a privileged position where patients and social care users are prepared to share their information with us.

‘Overwhelmingly, and uniquely in this country, there is a contract, a compact, between the system and its patients, which is complex but is broadly on the assumption that we will use you information in a way that is going to benefit you, and your care, and the wider community as well.’

‘Sustaining the public’s trust and understanding as we wish to collect more information, as we wish to make more use of it, as we wish to use it more dynamically, is absolutely key.’

‘So a number of things we will be doing are: a, to demonstrate the security of the data, b, the effective use of it, and to demonstrate how the confidence that the patient or social care use has in us, has in the system, is repaid to them and to the wider system.’