Transparency; the basis of Trust PP services

Today’s focus in our Top 7 countdown is #3 Governance. We use seven key factors of success as an Audit Tool when working with Trusts to develop their local private patient service.

The consultant to management relationship is the single most crucial factor in determining patient safety and also commercial success.

This relationship is managed through governance arrangements that must be strong, open and enduring. To ensure clarity in an NHS Trust, these relationships must not get blurred into that of an employer to employee, as this is at odds with the independent practitioner status of the consultant in private practice.

Managing this crucial distinction appropriately is vital to the achievement of consultant confidence in developing a private patient practice within the trust.

To gain the confidence of both the consultant body and insurers therefore requires the establishment of governance arrangements that mirror those within independent hospitals, and meet Department of Health and NHS statutory and regulatory guidance.

The key features of this include:

A. The establishment of a Trust’s medical society, allowing consultants to ‘opt in’ and sign up to activate their membership and practice privately.

B. A medical advisory committee (MAC) with a chair (effectively a clinical director for private practice) who will work alongside the private patients’ manager to ensure the flow of two-way communication.

C. The establishment of a medical society handbook which clearly sets out the rights and responsibilities of private practitioners.

D. Appropriate record-keeping in line with Care Quality Commis­sion requirements; for instance, to provide evidence that indemnity cover is up to date.

E. A private patients’ policy, approved by the Trust board and MAC, that details day-to-day processes essential to the efficient management of private practice.

The annual NHS Private Patient Service Development conference takes place on Tuesday 19th March 2019, at Royal Derby Hospital, Derby. You can find more details about this year’s conference with this link: