MPs question private sector contribution to NHS elective recovery

Two weeks ago, the Lowdown took a detailed look at the situation of the private healthcare sector.

We were seeking to understand why – after 13 years of policies promoting privatisation and driving waiting list patients towards private treatment – Rishi Sunak should be contemplating new laws to compel NHS bosses to send more patients for treatment by the private sector.

But in the wider search for information for that study it became clear that it’s not just campaigners and trade unions who have concerns over the impact on the NHS of relying on the capacity of the unevenly-spread patchwork of private hospitals and clinics: questions are also being asked by the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

Despite receiving an extensive written submission from the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) singing their own praises, the cross-party PAC was clearly unconvinced by their account, and by what they heard from NHS England about their elective recovery plan (which focused heavily and repeatedly on use of the private sector but made no attempt to explain the possible drawbacks of this policy).

Full story in The Lowdown, 25 April 2023

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