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Other contract issues

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Patient choice and staffing are both issues impacted by privatisation within the NHS. Issues surrounding delays to treatment for NHS patients due to paying patients taking priority and previous proposals to sell the NHS staffing agency have both come to light in recent years.

 

Patient choice - any qualified provider

In July 2012 a letter was leaker to The Independent written by the director of BMI's Meridian Hospital. The letter to consultants ordered them to postpone surgery for patients referred from the NHS Choose and Book system, to encourage more peole to opt for paying for their operations.

The initial period for this postponement was four weeks from first consultation rising to 8 weeks by September 2012.

Staffing

In September 2017 The Department of Health abandoned its plan to sell its majority stake in NHS Professionals - the health service's in-house temporary staffing agency.

NHS Professionals was set up by the last Labour government. It supplies doctors, nurses and other staff at much cheaper rates than those charged by profit-making NHS staffing firms. It save the NHS £70 million a year that would otherwise go to private firms.

The plan was dropped after a period of intense public criticism, but in the process of planning the sale the Department of Health spent £2 million on lawyers and consultants.

Patient choice and staffing are both issues impacted by privatisation within the NHS. Issues surrounding delays to treatment for NHS patients due to paying patients taking priority and previous proposals to sell the NHS staffing agency have both come to light in recent years.

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