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NHS deal with private hospitals blocked by Treasury

A £5 billion deal to extend the use of the private sector to treat NHS patients is being blocked by the Treasury according to reports from inside the NHS. The deal, being pushed by Health Secretary, Matt Hancock and NHS England is needed they say to deal with the large backlog of work that has built up during the Covid-19 crisis, which could see the NHS’ waiting list rise to 10 million by Christmas.

The Guardian reports that an agreement had been reached at the beginning of the month between NHS England and the leading private hospital companies, including Spire, Ramsay and HCA International, but that the Treasury prevented any announcement because it was not satisfied that it represented good value for money.

The new arrangement had intended to extend the deal struck in March, allowing the government to take control of the private hospital sectors’ 8000 beds, 680 operating theatres and 20,000 staff, adding to the 3,000 theatres in NHS hospitals.

Full story in The Lowdown, 23 June 2020

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