The Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI), an independent thinktank, has identified 481 consultants in England with shares in 34 private ventures set up in partnership with providers ranging from the huge US healthcare firm HCA to Specsavers opticians. The vast majority of these consultants – 73% – are NHS doctors. These arrangements that have generated more than £1bn in revenues since 2015.
In a report published on Friday, CHPI claimed the arrangements were often opaque, and that the financial incentives created by these joint ventures could lead to conflicts of interest. It is calling on regulators to investigate, saying the Covid-19 pandemic has “turbo charged” the share of NHS budgets spent in private clinics.
“The large number of consultants who own shares in private hospitals through joint venture arrangements and the very large financial benefit which they derive from these arrangements is a significant matter of public interest,” said David Rowland, CHPI director.
Full story in The Guardian, 21 January 2022