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Failure to monitor independent centres prevents comparison, says watchdog

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 26 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:173
  1. Michael Day
  1. London

    A “cock-up” by the UK government has impeded the ability of the Healthcare Commission to assess independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs), says the watchdog's chief executive, Anna Walker.

    She says that a government oversight has impeded the commission's ability to assess the safety and quality of the centres.

    The commission declared this week that the Department of Health had failed to ensure that the data collected on the controversial clinics were compatible with the data used to monitor the rest of the NHS.

    The commission had aimed to review the first 23 centres, which were set up to carry out high volumes of straightforward elective surgery to cut NHS waiting lists. The commission interviewed 2000 …

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