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Independent Healthcare Voices

Independent Healthcare Voices is a platform for healthcare and other industry leaders to share their views, observations and insight on the independent health sector and wider health and social care issues with the aim of sparking debates, spreading learning across the system and sharing solutions to tricky and common challenges facing local services.

Please note that all views expressed are those of the individual author, not of the NHS Confederation.

If you would like to discuss an idea for a blog or submit an article for consideration please email Megan Cleaver at [email protected]

So what would an NHS without private sector provision look like?

Date of publication: 13th Nov 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

The argument that the NHS is being ‘privatised’ is as old as the hills yet it still persists as a potent political issue. But why is this when the NHS remains funded through general taxation free at the point of use to patients, no frontline assets or services have ever been sold into private ownership and private provision of NHS services has been a feature of delivery since 1948? The answer is multifaceted and revolves around a vagueness over the...

How successful has government outsourcing been?

Date of publication: 27th Sep 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

In 2007, a government review of the UK outsourcing industry called it the “most advanced in the world”. Beginning in local government with services such as waste collection, successive governments have extended outsourcing to areas including front-line services and major information technology projects. But since then there have been several high profile “failures” which have certainly grabbed the headlines – who can forget the security at the London Olympics or Atos pulling out of the contract to provide work capability...

IHPN marks first ever World Patient Safety Day

Date of publication: 17th Sep 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Patient safety is the number one priority for independent healthcare providers, and IHPN are delighted to mark the first ever World Patient Safety Day – a new initiative to raise global awareness about patient safety and encourage global solidarity and action. In the past few years, improving patient safety has undoubtedly risen up the health agenda, with everyone from the World Health Organisation (who are the architects of today’s celebration) to former Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt who declared it...

Supporting Overseas Nursing Staff in the New Job

Date of publication: 3rd Sep 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Supporting Foreign Nursing Staff in the New Job: Tips for Employers on How to Best Organise the First Weeks by Sandra Jelew, Coach for Intercultural Competence, Business Development & Partnerships Care With Care   A new language, foreign culture, different working style, new tasks and responsibilities, maybe even a different climate, new time zone, and often limited contact with one’s own family and friends: For every foreign nurse a job in a UK hospital or retirement home means many life changes at...

What does the new administration mean for independent sector healthcare?

Date of publication: 25th Jul 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Better jokes but worse hair. We know some of the consequences of a Boris Johnson led government for sure. But what can we say about what the new government means for independent sector healthcare providers asks IHPN's Policy Director, David Furness. The fundamentals haven’t shifted Brexit will make or break this government’s domestic agenda. Theresa May’s domestic ambitions were ultimately broken on the wheel of Brexit. Parliamentary arithmetic means that legislation across government has effectively ground to a halt –...

The waiting time target was missed and there’s worse to come

Date of publication: 24th May 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

IHPN's data guru, Graham Kendall, looks at the NHS' progress in meeting it's recent commitment to stabilising waiting lists and what lessons need to be learned to cut waiting times. The latest waiting time figures show that last year’s main elective care target – to stabilise waiting numbers to March 2018 levels – was missed by a country mile. By last summer, IHPN was already publicly predicting we were badly off track and it is now increasingly clear that last...

Thinking Differently: about people, about what they really want, and about growth

Date of publication: 20th May 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Private healthcare finds itself at a crunch point. Low (or no) growth across local and international markets, spiralling costs, falling medical insurance subscriptions and “intelligent consumerism” continue to challenge the sector. The basis for competition is also changing with the rise of digital health, more regulation, calls for increased transparency and new players entering the market. Moreover, managing across 3 payer groups (NHS, PMI and self-pay) and a philosophical shift away from fee-for service towards outcomes-based payment models is challenging...

What does "NHS privatisation" really mean to the public?

Date of publication: 30th Apr 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

With current NHS proposals for legislative change being billed as necessary to "end NHS privatisation", IHPN Policy Director, David Furness, looks at the latest research on what the public really believe "NHS privatisation" represents.  Should Benjamin Franklin be around today, I’d invite him to update his famous aphorism, that in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes, and newspaper articles about NHS privatisation. Only last month, we heard that Matt Hancock is going “full...

Throwing the baby out with the bath water

Date of publication: 22nd Mar 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Following on from IHPN's event on "How will patient choice and personalisation work in Integrated Care Systems", Reform Director Andrew Haldenby gives his reflections on the future direction of the NHS Earlier this week I was lucky enough to speak at an event organised by the Independent Healthcare Providers’ Network, the body that represents private sector organisations working in partnership with the NHS. The event asked whether the NHS can do two things that look contradictory: deliver a more responsive...

NHS England's review into waiting times targets - how 11 can be much longer than 18

Date of publication: 18th Mar 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

On 11 March, NHS England’s Medical Director, Steve Powis, published his clinical review of NHS access standards. The proposals to change the four-hour A&E waiting target grabbed the headlines, but the potential changes to the 18-week waiting standard could have a profound effect on potentially millions of patients argues IHPN's data analyst Graham Kendall. The case for change Digital appointments. The report argues that the NHS Long Term Plan’s proposal to introduce digital appointments will mean that “over the next...