NEWS9 August 2010

Health department puts Dr Foster joint venture under review

Government UK

UK— The future of Dr Foster Intelligence, a healthcare information and data analysis firm co-owned by the Department of Health, is under review.

The review will explore strategic options for the company, “including ownership options or maintaining the current situation”, according to a department spokesman.

“It will look at a broad scope of possible future arrangements for the business – there are no pre-determined outcomes,” said the spokesman. “It will work out the strategic options – meaning those that will put Dr Foster Intelligence in the strongest possible position to provide high quality healthcare informatics to the National Health Service (NHS) and patients, and provide the best value for money for the taxpayer.”

The government said in a a statement that it is committed to the introduction of “an NHS information revolution” with the ambition of providing patients “quality information and data on all aspects of healthcare”.

“Combined with the right support, the aim is to increase the use of healthcare informatics to create better care, outcomes and reduced costs. The review will ensure that Dr Foster Intelligence is best placed to meet this challenge,” said the statement.

Dr Foster Intelligence is currently 48.75% owned by the Department of Health, with the remaining shares held by Dr Foster Holdings LLP. The joint venture first launched in 2006 and initially the government stake was held by the NHS Information Centre.