Responding to Labour party calls to prevent independent providers from winning NHS contracts, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), said:
“The NHS is not being privatised and it’s scaremongering to suggest that it is. Nothing is being sold off, and nobody is going to pay for their care.
“Awarding contracts allows NHS commissioning organisations (run by GPs) to decide what is best for patients in their local area. These contracts should always be awarded through fair and transparent processes that mean the best providers can deliver services to patients. We know that what matters most to patients are good quality local services, not the ownership status of who provides them. Rather than simplistic statements about “public good, private bad” we should be focusing on how patients and taxpayers can get the best possible value from every NHS pound.
“Without the independent sector the NHS simply wouldn’t be able to provide the care people need, from GP appointments, to diagnostic scans, to hospital surgery. We need to get away from tired old debates about ‘privatisation’ which are a distraction from the real challenges the NHS faces of joining up care and getting waiting times down.”