The collection and reporting of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) will remain a standard contract requirement for all providers of certain NHS services for 2012/13 and beyond.
PROMs are a key source of information on the outcomes of hip and knee replacement, varicose vein surgery and groin hernia repair procedures outlined in the NHS Outcomes Framework.
As part of the new arrangements the DH has approved four suppliers of PROMs services to assist providers of care in meeting their obligations.
Bob Ricketts, Director of NHS Provider Transition, said that Capita, Northgate, Picker and Quality Health have been assessed against “rigorous quality requirements”, to ensure they offer a high quality services to the NHS.
To help support NHS organisations meet their new PROMs obligations, the DH has created a the Patient Questionnaire Framework where they can use services offered by the four suppliers.
As part of the framework agreement, there will be greater flexibilities in collecting data at ground level. Suppliers will now be able to offer electronic data and work with other suppliers to collect and report information.
The data will be then be submitted to the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s new PROMs Clearing House service where, to meet demand, clinical teams can access patient identifiable data.
The DH notes that the new approach allows NHS organisations to call off other patient questionnaire services.
“In order to call-off services under the Framework, providers will be required to undertake a ‘mini-competition’,” said Mr Ricketts. “Providers would issue Call-Off Notices to all Suppliers setting out the specification of the services required. All Suppliers are required to submit tenders against the specifications.”