IHPN Industry Barometer: State of the Sector 2023

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Looking at this year’s barometer results, it’s clear that independent providers are positive about the prospects in all their key markets, with strong growth expected in domestic self-pay, PMI and NHS funded work. 

Although expectations of growth in domestic self-pay are still strong, providers tell us that growth is starting to decelerate. NHS activity is still seen as a key area for the sector with a marked increase in positivity from last year, and reflects the pressures in the NHS and the focus on utilisation of the independent sector, along with the emphasis on patient choice.

The prevailing view of our members is that the NHS doesn’t utilise the independent sector enough, and that the NHS’s attitude towards the independent health sector has deteriorated somewhat from last year. 

It is promising, however, that relationships with integrated care systems seem to be steadying a little, which hopefully reflects the fact that ICSs are beginning to settle and evolve. Politically, our members believe that both the Government and the Opposition have broadly positive attitudes to the independent sector.

Of course, the headache for all healthcare providers – for both the NHS and the independent sector – remains how to tackle the huge workforce shortages facing the country, and indeed wider world. 

This is no simple task, but IHPN are committed to keeping up the momentum with our partners in the NHS and Health Education England so that the sector is fully factored into wider workforce planning, and can play a full role in the training and development of the next generation of healthcare professionals, alongside the sectors own recruitment that it does each year. 

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