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NHS diagnostics losing out to the private sector

  • Independent providers are receiving substantial public funds to help shift the backlog in diagnostics, amidst fears of long term arrangements
  • NHS radiology staff are understaffed by 33% and equipment is failing.
  • Review says private sector use should be a stop gap, alongside calls to divert public funds away from firms and towards the NHS

Headline-grabbing short-term funding for local partnerships with independent providers, rather than long-term investment in staffing and capital equipment for the public sector, increasingly appears to be the government’s preferred approach to easing the crisis in diagnostic services.

The government’s latest initiative – trumpeted by health secretary Sajid Javid as a major boost to the diagnostics sector, and part of the ‘levelling up’ agenda – came last week with a relatively paltry ‘injection’ of £248m to digitise scan and test results, designed to speed up diagnoses, enable earlier treatments and reduce waiting lists.

Full story in The Lowdown, 15 November 2021

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