latest health care news


Majority say private care can reduce pressure on NHS hospitals

Almost eight in 10 British adults (72%) think that, as long as care remains free, the NHS should make use of private sector providers to reduce pressure on hospitals during the winter months, an NHS Confederation poll has found.

The poll, commissioned by the Confederation’s NHS Partners Network, representing independent sector providers (both for-profits and not-for-profits), also revealed that 74% of those surveyed agree that waiting times in the NHS are too long, with only 20% agreeing that central government is doing enough to reduce this.

To alleviate pressure on hospitals as winter bites, the independent sector has made available over 250,000 extra surgical operations and diagnostic tests between December and March 2016.

This will add on to the tens of thousands of procedures already scheduled to be delivered by the private sector this winter to help mitigate growing waiting times.

David Hare, the Network’s chief executive, said: “The public are telling us that we are failing patients if we do not strain every sinew over winter to utilise all available capacity across the health and care system to help ensure timely access to services.

“It is not acceptable that patients are left to wait over 18 weeks for treatment while available capacity goes unused. NHS patients have the right to request to be seen by an independent sector provider – and no patients should be left to wait when there is a viable alternative for treatment.”

Other poll findings allegedly back this call for private help, with almost three-quarters of over 2,000 surveyed adults between 30 October and 1 November agreeing that if waiting times at local hospitals exceed 18 weeks, they would choose to go to a private provider delivering free NHS care.

In fact, most of those surveyed think it does not matter whether care is given by public or private providers if services are free at the point of use.

But these private sector services are also set to be amongst the hardest hit by the sector’s 2016-17 tariff. Proposed NHS price changes outlined in Monitor’s impact assessment for the next financial year will cut national priced income of private providers by 7%.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The gender pay gap in the NHS remains a hotly debated topic, especially as the final report from the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine Review approaches. Andrea Hester, deputy director of employment relati more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professi... more >


NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took st... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s agei... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >