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Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt)

The Acute Data Alignment Programme (ADAPt) is a joint programme between NHS Digital and the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) which is looking to adopt common standards for data collections and performance measures across both the NHS and private healthcare. This will ensure that relevant information is consistently recorded and available so it can be more easily analysed and compared.

About ADAPt

The aim of ADAPt is to move towards a common set of standards for data collections, performance measure methodologies and reporting systems across NHS and private healthcare. Where care has been received privately, the quality of that care will become more visible and patient records more complete.

The purpose is to protect patient safety through appropriate, secure and robust information sharing – ensuring the right information is available to the right people, in the right place at the right time.

The programme is being jointly led by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) and NHS Digital, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social care (DHSC), NHS Improvement (NHSI), NHS England (NHSE), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and other bodies.

The aims of ADAPt

  1. To make it easier to monitor the quality and safety of services by including private healthcare data within healthcare reporting systems.
  2. To help staff keep accurate and complete records when a patient journey spans both private and public providers.
  3. To ensure transparency for patients by publishing comparable performance measures relating to quality of care and patient safety for both privately funded and NHS funded healthcare. 
  4. To identify where the burden of data collection and reporting by NHS and private care providers can be reduced.

Programme governance

The programme has a governance board comprising membership from important stakeholders, including:

  • NHS Digital (co-chair) 
  • The Private Healthcare Information Network (co-chair) 
  • Department of Health and Social Care 
  • Care Quality Commission 
  • NHS England / NHS Improvement 
  • NHS Resolution 
  • Independent Healthcare Providers Network (observers only)

ADAPt will be delivered in three main phases

Phase 1: Co-operation (ending March 2020)

This phase of the project has three sub workstreams: 

  1. To publish performance measures for private healthcare, as required by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Private Healthcare Market Investigation Order 2014 (as amended 2017, “the CMA Order”).
  2. Investigate the current state of private healthcare data and the challenges ahead. PHIN and the CMA have already attempted to align to NHS England data standards wherever possible. In preparation for phase two, the programme will investigate and discuss the technical and organisational challenges, plus information governance and the legal basis of the programme.
  3. To explore how the programme could co-operate, and encourage the use of common standards for NHS and private healthcare across other national programmes and initiatives such as Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT).

Phase 2: Alignment of data flow, processing and analysis (ending March 2022)

ADAPt ran a public consultation exercise from 19 February 2020 to 22 May 2020 on the NHS Digital consultation hub, seeking feedback on proposals to change the way in which private healthcare data is collected, processed, reported and disseminated. 

It specifically proposed that information about private healthcare Admitted Patient Care (APC) activity be reported to NHS Digital alongside information about NHS funded patients, using common data standards. 

The consultation proposed three pilots:

1.    Piloting the flow of private healthcare APC data from the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) to NHS Digital.
2.    Piloting the flow of private healthcare APC data collected from NHS Private Patient Units (PPUs) by NHS Digital to PHIN.
3.    Piloting the supply to PHIN of private APC data from independent providers to NHS Digital.

Participants included providers, clinicians and members of the public. 

Thirty responses from across the stakeholder spectrum, including private providers, NHS PPU, national bodies, professional bodies and representative organisations were received. The vision for a standardised single source of healthcare information, with common standards across the two sectors was widely endorsed.

The General Medical Council noted their support for consultation, stating:

We support the intention to establish common standards to record and report activity relating to patient outcomes consistently across both the NHS and private sector. We agree that this should make a positive contribution to strengthening healthcare governance and reducing patient safety risks.

You can view a copy of the consultation report.

The ADAPt programme has seen some delay during phase 2 activity due to the impact of COVID-19 with support to Test & Trace and many Private Providers supporting the NHS. 

Planning for the pilots including recruiting pilot participants and confirmation of data sharing was undertaken during 2021 with pilots commencing in November 2021.

Phase 3: Inclusion of private data in NHS quality measures and published outputs (from April 2022 onwards)

Dependant upon the outcome of the above pilots, recommendations for changes to data collection and publishing of that data will be made to the ADAPt board. 

Implementation of those recommendations may require further consultation and Information Governance.

Further information


Last edited: 28 November 2022 9:27 am