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AIHO News & Review January 2017


CEO Update – AIHO in 2017 and results of the member survey

18 January 2017

2017 start buttonHappy New Year to all AIHO members.

Thank you to all those who completed our recent members’ survey. 89% of members are overall ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with AIHO and no dissatisfaction was expressed.

AIHO members identified the following three areas as AIHO’s most important functions:

  • providing an effective voice for independent healthcare to key stakeholders, the media and government;
  • informing members about policy, regulatory and political issues affecting independent healthcare;
  • producing AIHO documents on key issues e.g.  Duty of Candour, practising privileges.

Members indicated the following three areas would have a ‘significant’ impact on their organisations in 2017:

  • Care Quality Commission regulatory plans
  • Recruitment of staff
  • NHS financial uncertainty

AIHO’s recent teleconference with CQC’s Head of Hospital Inspections and Policy Manager on independent children’s services is just one example of where AIHO makes a positive impact for members. AIHO members had raised a lack of consistency between different CQC inspection teams in terms of children’s services inspections.  The teleconference has led to greater clarity on a number of areas and a direct line of communication to CQC for AIHO members. Read more under AIHO Work Programme.

AIHO will also be responding to the key CQC consultation on the next phase of inspections. The CQC has indicated that inspections for independent healthcare providers will largely follow the same principles set out in this consultation which is primarily aimed at NHS trusts. Read more under News from the CQC.

I’m delighted to announce that AIHO has joined the Cavendish Coalition co-ordinated by NHS Employers. The large and high-profile Coalition is committed to working together to ensure a continued domestic and international pipeline of high calibre professionals and trainees in health and social care.

Having now heard Theresa May set out her plans for Brexit, AIHO will continue to monitor developments; our membership of the Trade Association Forum ensures we have close links into the Department of International Trade.

fiona booth NHS financial uncertainty naturally poses significant challenges and opportunities for members. AIHO works alongside NHS Partners Network and we will continue to closely monitor this agenda.

The AIHO member survey brought up a number of additional useful findings, all of which AIHO will continue to work through and I will be reporting on the survey to the AIHO Board later this month.

fiona booth

Fiona Booth, AIHO Chief Executive



AIHO Work Programme


Report on AIHO and CQC teleconference on children’s services

AIHO had a teleconference with CQC’s Carolyn Jenkinson, Head of Hospital Inspections and Dawn Hodgkins, Policy Manager on independent healthcare children’s services on 20 December. AIHO members had raised two key issues in advance of the call around a lack of consistency between CQC inspection teams in terms of:

child eating hospital food

  • lack of a common standard and consistent interpretation of safeguarding training requirements;
  • varied approach to the need for paediatric nurses in the OPD setting, including for 16-17 year olds.

The following areas were discussed and an agreed set of notes have been circulated to those on the call:

  • requirements around Level 3 safeguarding training;
  • intercollegiate guidance and RCN staffing guidance;
  • GP services in independent hospital settings;
  • requirement for a RCN to be physically present in OPD or accessible and available;
  • CQC guidelines on having separate children’s wards, security, abduction risk, and on parents being with child 24 hours a day.

If any AIHO member would like a copy of the notes, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Carolyn Jenkinson has offered to have future teleconferences and AIHO will co-ordinate this.


AIHO to respond to Green Paper on Work, Health and Disability, closes 17 February

The Green Paper has been jointly prepared by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions. The main focus of the Green Paper is to make progress on the government’s manifesto ambition to halve the disability employment gap.

However, the Green Paper also explores the importance of ensuring people with long-term health conditions are given the support they need to prevent them from falling out of work and to progress in workplaces which embed effective health and wellbeing practices. As such, the paper contains many policy suggestions that are relevant for AIHO members.

Fiona Booth has written and spoken publicly about the role of the independent sector in improving workplace health and as part of AIHO’s ongoing advocacy for independent healthcare as a driver of workplace productivity, Fiona met with the Joint Work and Health Unit in September 2016, and a subsequent briefing was provided to the Unit.

Responses will shape actions undertaken by the Joint Health and Work Unit over the next two years, over this Parliament and beyond 2020 in a range of areas, including the launch of a Work and Health Programme in autumn 2017.

AIHO has circulated key points to the AIHO Policy Group for comment. If you would like to contribute to the AIHO response, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Institute of Healthcare Management on STPs - ‘Swimming together or sinking alone’

ihm swimming togetherAIHO recently attended the launch of an Institute of Healthcare Management report on STPs (Sustainability and Transformation Plans) based on revealing interviews with 10 in-depth senior leaders in health and local government on what is really happening as managers grapple with the process. 


AIHO response to CQC report into NHS deaths

Health Insurance covered the AIHO statement issued in response to the CQC report, Learning, candour and accountability, in an article entitled ‘Independent hospitals have robust processes to deal with adverse events.


Healthcare News


Nursing and Midwifery’s new Employer Link Service

The NMC’s Employer Link Service (ELS), is a UK wide service aimed at employers of nurses and midwives in the independent and public sector.

Launched in April 2016, ELS exists to help employers to take appropriate action when there are fitness to practise concerns about a nurse or midwife. The ELS received around 5,500 referrals in 2016. ELS offers a range of services for employers including:

  • nmc services for employers cover thumbA referral advice line, staffed by Regulation Advisers who are experts in regulatory matters who can provide advice and help with decision making about fitness to practise concerns. This service is available from Monday to Friday between 08:00-18:00 on 020 7462 8850.
  • Advice on the process and the information needed to make a referral
  • Inductions on fitness to practise for newly appointed employers of nurses and midwives
  • Group learning sessions on fitness to practise, referral thresholds and other core NMC regulatory functions

The ELS will also respond to requests for meetings from AIHO members.


GMC identifies five priority areas for action regarding revalidation in 2017

Sir Keith Pearson, independent chair of the Revalidation Advisory Board has carried out an independent review of revalidation. The GMC has responded positively and set out the actions they will take forward and what they expect of other healthcare organisations. AIHO met with Keith Pearson during his consultation process and are listed in the document.


PHIN – December Member Update

phin logoPHIN’s latest member update includes the following:

  • Update Subscription Agreement now available
  • PHIN response to CMA consultation on fees
  • Update on patient consent


LaingBuisson reports increasing PMI demand due to corporate schemes

Uptake of Private Medical Insurance (PMI) has improved significantly in 2015, for the first time since 2008. LaingBuisson’s report previews future challenges and opportunities for private medical cover where affordability, corporate health and wellbeing, and a wide choice of cover for high quality private healthcare across the whole care pathway, shape the sector’s future.


IEA’s research on Social Health Insurance systems in Europe

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has published new research which finds that the quality of care provided by the NHS is falling significantly behind that of Social Health Insurance (SHI) systems in Europe and beyond. SHI systems still provide universal access to care.

The research report includes recommendations such as:

  • Healthcare reform options considered 'radical' in the UK are normal in many other western countries.  The majority of developed countries have some form of cost-sharing system.
  • Patients should be free to choose what Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) they use instead of having to register via a GP; or they should be able to switch to non-NHS commissioner -insurers if they see fit, giving them the ability to select based on their preferences in exchange for a tax rebate.
  • Referral practices should be changed so that a letter of referral from a GP works as a voucher for the patient to use at any provider of their choice with the relevant service. The report recognises that while on paper, patients have had free choice of provider since 2008, in practice, many GPs have simply continued to refer patients as they see fit.


The King’s Fund – How hospital activity and funding have changed over time

This report explores the rising demand for hospital services for different aspects of activity over the past 13 years.


Nuffield Trust – Getting the bigger picture on hospital performance

NHS situation reports provide useful insights into how hospitals are performing on a weekly basis.


cqc logoNews from the Care Quality Commission


CQC consultation – Next Phase, closes 14 February

CQC has indicated that independent healthcare providers will largely follow the same principles set out in this consultation which is primarily aimed at NHS trusts. CQC intends to start inspections using its next phase approach for the majority of independent providers in 2018/19.

AIHO has circulated the key points for AIHO members to the AIHO Regulation Group for comment and to feed into the consultation response. If you would like to contribute to the response, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


AIHO members encouraged to respond to CQC Annual Provider Survey

The CQC annual survey closes on 2 February. The survey is anonymous and shorter than previous years – it should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.  Questions cover CQC’s approach to regulation, your experience of CQC inspection and what you think about their recent publications.



Unless stated otherwise, all conferences are held in London.


Tle Miad 2017 Regional days, various locations

Tle Miad has a number of courses on offer including: new appraiser training, serious clinical incident investigation training and clinical supervisor training.


LaingBuisson, Investing In Healthcare Conference, 8 February 2017

LaingBuisson’s Private Equity in Healthcare report will be launched at the conference. Four key themes are: children’s services; care of older people; oncology and consumer facing healthcare.


A Joint Healthcare Conferences UK and InPractice Training Course, The Duty of Candour in Practice Masterclass, 24 April 2017

This course covers the legal framework surrounding the Duty of Candour and what it means in practice. The training includes sessions on meeting and communicating with patients and families.


Head First Conference, Negotiating the challenges of life after brain injury, 4 May 2017


Healtheurope Amsterdam Congress, 28–29 June 2017

AIHO are supporting the Healtheurope Amsterdam Congress and have free delegate tickets for AIHO members. The congress is in Holland so AIHO members will have to pay for travel and accommodation.  Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the personalized booking code.


IDF London Healthcare Conference, 4 July 2017

london healthcare conference

The IDF (Independent Doctors Federation) is launching a new clinically-led, multi-specialty conference designed to highlight all that London and the rest of the UK has to offer in terms of medical innovation and excellence in patient care.

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