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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]

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...

What will be the effect of the NHS’ calls for new health legislation?

Date of publication: 1st Mar 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

IHPN Chief Executive, David Hare, looks at what the NHS' call for new health legislation will mean for patients and taxpayers Yesterday NHS England and NHS Improvement provided further details of their proposals for NHS legislative change. Seasoned health policy observers will not have been surprised by the general direction of travel since moves towards greater ‘integration’ of services have been underway for some time, but the devil is usually in the detail, and on this occasion that certainly seems...

Unlocking the benefits of community healthcare

Date of publication: 26th Feb 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Professor Andrew Walton, Executive Chair of Connect Health, looks at what lessons can be learned from community healthcare when implementing the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions to deliver more patient centred care. “Bringing care closer to home” so that patients can access high quality services in their local communities has long been an objective of successive Governments. However too often when the NHS needs to make efficiencies, community health services are the first place to be hit - despite some...

The time is right for the private sector to apply global best practice to the UK market

Date of publication: 11th Jan 2019

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Dr Mark Ratnarajah, UK Managing Director of CRAB Clinical Informatics, looks at how healthcare data is being used around the world to drive improvements in patient outcomes and value for money. Anyone with an eye on healthcare systems in the United States (US), Australia or New Zealand (ANZ) will know that healthcare companies are moving away from fee for service models towards value-based remuneration in recognition of the importance of measuring outcomes rather than process. The shift in emphasis in the...

Workforce Culture – Bringing Safety from Board to Ward

Date of publication: 15th Nov 2018

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Ahead of our IHPN summit breakout session on “Safety in hospitals: Building cultures of success", Jodie Sinclair, Head of Employment Immigration and Pensions at Bevan Brittan, looks at the issues surrounding patient safety in the independent sector Driving up standards of safety, clinical governance and accountability rightly continue to be priorities for the healthcare sector. However, with many of the recommendations of the Francis Inquiry still to be fully embedded and the current Bishop of Norwich Inquiry ongoing, it is clear...