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Private sector should ‘re-design’ health service

Independent providers argue their case

Jo Carlowe

Friday, 19 June 2015

The NHS should use the independent sector to ‘re-design’ health and care services.

This is the message in a report this week from The NHS Partners Network, the body representing independent sector providers of NHS clinical services.

In its report: 15 Years of Concordat: reflection and renewal the NHSPN calls for the NHS to become more radical in asking more of the independent sector in areas such as capital investment and technological innovation. 

Chief executive of the NHSPN, David Hare, said: “Over many decades the independent sector has played its part in ensuring that NHS patients receive high quality care, free at the point of use, based on clinical need and not ability to pay. Those principles and values are as important now as they were in 1948 and we are ready, willing and able to put our shoulder to the wheel to help maintain and improve the NHS in the years ahead. 

“Today’s report shows how many NHS patients are being treated by the independent sector, the excellent outcomes delivered by many of our services and the benefits which the sector brings in areas like low waiting-times and low cancellation rates.” 

Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the report would help move the debate forward. 

“Fifteen years on from the first ever Concordat between the NHS and the independent sector it is clear that the sector is now an important feature of the NHS, delivering services to millions of patients every year, free at the point of use,” he said. 

“As we strive to meet the ever increasing demand for high-quality healthcare, new collaborations will change the way we deliver services to patients. These collaborations will involve all parts of the NHS, including the independent sector, and must harness the capability, energy, resources and innovation that each party brings.” 

David Mobbs, report author and chief executive of independent sector provider Nuffield Health said: “Private and voluntary sector NHS providers are already working hand-in-glove with publicly owned NHS providers to solve the challenges facing the NHS. During the last winter alone, the independent sector made 120,000 procedures available to the NHS to help deal with a spike in demand. 

“This support now needs to be put on a more sustainable footing to help give NHS patients throughout the country the care they need whenever they need it, seven days a week.”

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