About the taskforce 

The Government’s Elective Recovery Taskforce was established in December 2022 to explore ways to maximise the contribution and capacity of the independent sector to tackle NHS waiting lists, and to highlight practical ways that the independent sector can be more powerfully utilised.   

Our involvement 

IHPN was pleased to be a member of the taskforce, representing the voice of independent healthcare providers – whether they are working in specialist or acute hospital contexts, or more widely, across primary care, community services and diagnostics.  

Many of our members already provide huge numbers of NHS services across the country, as well as supporting patients who have chosen private care. 

Taskforce report 

In August 2023, the Taskforce produced a report which centred around four core areas:  

  1. Empowering patients to exercise their right to choice 
  1. Helping the system recover  
  1. Enable longer term system sustainability 
  1. Delivering the plan, and going further 

Key findings and recommendations 

The report made a number of key observations, findings and recommendations which we believe can lead to better utilisation of the independent sector, and ultimately reduce waiting times for patients.  

Our reaction, from chief executive, David Hare is below in this short video

There are also a number of commitments made that IHPN will be responsible for delivering.  

Implementing the recommendations will make it easier for patients to choose where and how they receive care, helping to reduce waiting times. 

The Taskforce has been a powerful and collaborative partnership featuring Government, IHPN, NHS England and patient representative groups. 

The key to delivering for patients will be in implementing the detail of the report – if we can, we can hope to see increased use of independent sector capacity across a broader range of specialties, helping to get NHS waiting times down and ensuring every patient can realise their right to choose where they receive their NHS care.  

Our responsibilities and commitments 

As a result of the taskforce and the report, we at IHPN have committed to publishing an evaluation of apprenticeship schemes by October 2023 across ISPs following the conclusion of the Taskforce. 

We are also conducting an annual benchmarking exercise by October 2023 to measure how much training is being undertaken in the sector. 

Finally, we are also committed to working, through the Doctors in Training Group with NHS England and the Royal Colleges, to continue to ensure barriers to junior doctor movement are minimised. 

Our CEO, David Hare, talks more about this in this short video.