Key facts

Private hospitals are performing a growing number of operations on NHS patients. It is still under 5% of all the surgery in the NHS but private companies are gaining a strong foothold. 

Private firms carry out:

17% of hip replacements (11,500 operations),

17% of hernia repairs (9,000)

6% of gall bladder removals (3,000) annually in England.

Their share of NHS patients grew rapidly between 2006-07 and 2010-11 after the introduction of patient choice.

By 2010-11 private providers also handled 8% of patients' first attendances in relation to orthopaedics or trauma, such as a broken limb; 4.8% of gastroenterological problems; and 2.3% of attendances for sight problems.


Key trends

Self-pay patients up 14% in the last 3 years says health analyst

NHS trusts are earning more from private patients to make up for lost funding

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