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The PPR enlightens governance for hospitals

Every independent hospital in the UK now has access to accurate information about their practitioner community on a ground-breaking online register. Healthcode completed the roll-out of The Private Practice Register (The PPR) to over 300 independent hospitals and NHS Private Patient Units (PPUs) in early 2020 and continues to enhance the amount of practitioner information available.

The PPR now has more than 30,000 practitioner profiles which are managed and kept up to date by the practitioners themselves. It provides a central source of accurate information about practitioners offering services in the private healthcare sector which is already benefiting users. For example, practitioners with a PPR profile do not need to update every insurer and hospital they have a relationship with each time their details change, while insurers can now save time by automating verification checks for new practitioners. For peace of mind, data is housed securely in a dedicated data warehouse in the UK and access is via encrypted connections.

All hospitals have free access to The PPR basic service which enables them to search the database and add practitioners to their site who have been granted practising privileges. They can then view basic information from the practitioners’ profiles including name, specialty, regulatory/professional body and details of the practice information at their hospital. To help with clinical governance, they are also able to view profile alerts about GMC warnings, overdue indemnity insurance and overdue appraisals.

In addition, hospitals can subscribe to The PPR standard service which offers more information and features to support their Governance obligations and the CQC’s Well-led key line of enquiry. For example, they can view the full profile of their linked practitioners including their NHS and private practice at all sites, qualifications and medical secretary details. For GMC-registered practitioners they can see the GMC and revalidation statuses, Responsible Officer and Designated Body which are available through Healthcode’s GMC republication licence. They will also receive email notifications about any updates made to a profile.

Hospitals can only correct and update information about a practitioner’s work within their own organisation, such as practice hours and start and end dates of practice. The practitioner is notified when these changes are made.

The next phase of The PPR will build on Healthcode’s pioneering initiative to connect practitioners, insurers and private hospitals in the private healthcare sector using its secure online platform. Work to align The PPR to the recommendations made in the Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework (MPAF) for granting and maintaining hospital practising privileges is ongoing and a GMC-registered practitioner’s Scope of Practice is already available to hospitals detailing procedures undertaken at qualifying sites where invoices list the practitioner as the controlling specialist and have been sent electronically to the insurers.

Fiona Booth, Healthcode’s Head of External Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement said: “The wide-scale adoption of The PPR is exciting news for hospitals as they have access to more information and insights to support effective management of their practitioner population, in line with MPAF. In its latest State of Care report, the CQC rated 83% of independent organisations as good or outstanding on the question of leadership and The PPR will be another means of demonstrating to CQC inspectors that a hospital has embedded measures to improve supervision of practising privileges and clinical governance. It is important that the private healthcare sector shows the public that we can put our own house in order.

“We will continue to work closely with our hospital and PPR Data Standards user groups to ensure The PPR provides the insights they need. For example, development is underway to enhance the scope of practice information and add more features to administer practising privileges.” 

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