While I agree with much of the content in the article, 'Care quality data is too hard to pin down', I would emphasise that the quality of data available from the independent and third sectors is no worse than that available in the NHS. And in some instances it is better.

You rightly suggest that outcome data from independent mental health providers is important to track patients around the healthcare system and demonstrate to commissioners the cost and clinical effectiveness of services.

Here at the Retreat - a not-for-profit mental health provider - we support the call for the routine submission of patient data across all providers. We have been working with clinicians and patients to help them routinely collate outcome measures that we can use to demonstrate care effectiveness. It also demonstrates compliance with Healthcare Commission minimum standards and adherence to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines.

We welcome the chance to demonstrate a high-quality care experience through the use of outcome measures.

With 95 per cent of our patients coming from the NHS, we expect to submit the same data as NHS services, as part of our contractual obligation to commissioners. This provides greater choice to future service users, and demonstrates a mature approach to plurality.

Steve Trenchard, director of clinical services, the Retreat, York