The government has today (4 August) published its Elective Recovery Taskforce report as it looks to boost the use of independent sector capacity to cut NHS waiting lists.

Dr Ian Gargan, Chief Executive of the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) says:

“The NHS has an established and important role in our society, but with over 7m people on the waiting list, an aging population and strikes about pay and conditions ongoing, it’s clear that it needs help more than ever.

“We welcome the publication of the Elective Recovery Taskforce (ERT) report and the plans it outlines to make more of our ‘twin track’ public/private healthcare system, including unlocking capacity, workforce and the exemplary skill set in the private sector to get NHS patients seen sooner and reduce the strain on the NHS.

“Uncertainty about what is wrong with them, and how long it will take to be diagnosed and then treated can cause undue stress on patients, exacerbating health issues, so it is great to see the proposal for independent sector-led Community Diagnostic Centres to be built using private capital. This will help ensure that more patients can get tests and scans in a timely manner to reduce uncertainty and allow patients to move on with their treatment.

“We are particularly pleased to see better use of data being highlighted. PHIN is a specialist data collection organisation that tracks activity in the private healthcare sector and publishes it for patients and providers. Our latest data shows that there were more private in-patient/day-case admissions (820,000) in 2022 than in any previous year since PHIN began collecting data.

“We are part of the ADAPt programme with the NHS (in England) working together to bring public and private healthcare data together to provide a fuller picture of the healthcare system. The more data that is available in the sector the better.

“The desire to improve patient choice is also very welcome. This is at the heart of PHIN’s role to help patients understand their options and make more informed choices.

“Our website, tells patients – however their treatment is being paid for – about the hospitals they may be treated in and the consultants carrying out their procedures. This information can be used to inform choices or just build patient confidence and understanding of their healthcare.”

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