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About us

Dr Foster Intelligence is a public-private partnership launched in February 2006 that aims to improve the quality and efficiency of health and social care through better use of information. We will make it easier for professionals and the public to access health and social care information through a range of innovative products and services.

Patients, carers and relatives all benefit from improved use of information by health and social care services. Better management insight into clinical performance, for example, helps improve the quality of care an organisation provides; better insight into patient and client experiences will make services more responsive to users. A good example is the way in which Walsall Hospitals NHS Trusts in the West Midlands has used Dr Foster information tools to reduce its inpatient mortality rate by 30 per cent over the last five years. Better information makes the NHS offer a safer, more efficient and more convenient service to its patients.

The partnership is in the form of a 50:50 joint venture involving the Department of Health and Dr Foster, a commercial provider of healthcare information.

The Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine has developed pioneering methodologies that enable fast, accurate identification of potential problems in clinical performance - and areas of high achievement.

Dr Foster Intelligence works to a code of conduct which is monitored by an independent Ethics Committee chaired by Sir Donald Irvine, former President General Medical Council.


Dr Foster - the background

Dr Foster was first launched to the public in January 2001 with publication of the Hospital Guide. This appeared in the Sunday Times as two special supplements and subsequently over the internet and in local newspapers.

Since then, Dr Foster has published a series of guides detailing the availability and standards of local health services in a number of areas - from the Good Birth Guide to the Consultant Guide - the only comprehensive listing of senior hospital specialists available.

Dr Foster has also published a number of regional guides with local newspapers and a series of books with Random House.

Dr Foster also collaborates with a number of organisations in the private and public sector to produce reports and guides in more specialist areas - see other guides and reports, and individual areas such as diabetes and breast cancer for more information.