IHPN response to Panorama programme on safety in private hospitals

Responding to the BBC Panorama programme “NHS patients going private: what are the risks“, David Hare Chief Executive of IHPN, said:

“Delivering safe, high-quality patient care is the number one priority for independent healthcare providers, and the sector is proud of the contribution it makes to the UK healthcare system.

“Independent providers deliver care to millions of both NHS and private patients every year and people should be reassured that the sector, just as the NHS, is subject to highest possible safety and quality standards.

“Patients should always be treated in the most appropriate care setting and independent hospitals, like NHS providers, undertake robust pre-admission processes to establish that they are an environment in which a patient can be safely treated. The transfer of patients from an independent hospital in the event of their health deteriorating – something that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) assesses the arrangements for as part of their inspection framework for all independent providers – is therefore a very rare occurrence and represents just 0.08% of patients treated in the sector.

“While of course it’s impossible for any health system to prevent things from ever going wrong, the CQC – the independent care regulator for England – has found that the sector provides overwhelmingly high standards of care, with over 92% of acute independent hospitals rated as good or outstanding. This is up from 70% in 2018 and demonstrates a clear commitment to delivering the best possible care for patients.”