NHS Partners Network and Independent Healthcare Advisory Services have teamed up in partnership with Dr Foster Research to launch a “groundbreaking” new project designed to rate private healthcare providers against each other and the National Health Service.

The Hellenic Project will gather anonymous clinical and non-clinical data at the patient-level from hospital groups and other parties such as the Care Quality Commission to produce “high quality, reliable information on the performance of independent sector hospitals at a national level”, so that this can be used as an effective, nationwide benchmarking tool.

According to Sally Taber, Director of IHAS, the project presents “an exciting opportunity” as, for the first time, independent sector providers will be able to accurately measure clinical quality at a national level. “With the advent of patient choice, patients are increasingly able to tell us where healthcare is succeeding and where it is failing and the information we gather should help us fully assess that,” she explained.

And according to Dr Jean-Jacques de Gorter, vice-chairman of NHS Partners Network, more NHS patients are choosing to access independent hospital services every year, and by making high quality information available “patients will increasingly choose private hospitals to look after them”.

There has been a growing call to collect high quality data on the performance of independent healthcare providers, particularly in the wake of Independent Sector Treatment Centres, which are paid by the government to carry out certain NHS procedures and routine operations.