HSJ reports that experts have warned that the drive to cut NHS waiting lists is becoming ‘disproportionately reliant’ on the private sector, as new data suggests rapid growth in the elective activity carried out by non-NHS providers.
Internal figures for activity commissioned by integrated care boards and NHS England, seen by HSJ, suggest the value-weighted activity carried out by private providers has increased by around 30 per cent on pre-covid levels.
However, experts said the NHS would struggle to bring down waiting lists without significantly increasing the amount of elective work it did.
Waiting list analyst Rob Findlay said independent sector outsourcing was “not genuine backlog clearance, but a way of plugging some of the recurring shortfall in core NHS capacity”.
Full story in HSJ, 23 October 2023