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Millions paid by NHS England to send patients private over winter

HSJ reports that NHS England and Improvement have allocated millions of pounds to outsource elective and diagnostic work to the independent sector, in an attempt to keep waiting lists down during the winter.

The areas to be supported by £22 million are orthopaedic, paediatric, cardiology and gynaecology departments, according to the NHSI.

Money had been given to 44 areas to increase elective capacity, and in 22 areas to increase diagnostic capacity. The money was given if the NHSE judged that the main hospital trust had a record of delivering itself and already had plans in place to allow for extra activity.

There was no specific winter funding pot announced for the NHS for 2019-20, although HSJ reported late last year that NHSE/I were scrambling to provide funding to some hospitals to mitigate a performance crisis.

Full story in the HSJ, 15 January 2020

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