This report is about public attitudes to private healthcare – what do people think about it, what services do they use, what do they understand about it?
Although the NHS is the main provider of healthcare services in the UK, there is a wide range of private healthcare services available, including scans and tests, operations and treatments in hospital, as well as private primary care, dentistry, and physiotherapy.
By private healthcare, we mean healthcare that people pay for themselves – either through a direct payment, referred to as ‘self-pay’, or often through private medical insurance that the patient pays for directly or receives as a benefit of employment.
We think this research is important for two reasons. First, we know that more and more people are choosing private healthcare and we want to understand why. Second, it will help inform work by the private healthcare industry to continue to improve the service it offers to patients and consumers particularly in terms of helping people understand and navigate the system.