The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) has extended a warm welcome to Victoria Atkins on her appointment as the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, succeeding Steve Barclay.
David Hare, chief executive of IHPN, said: “We look forward to working with Ms Atkins and her new team on behalf of the independent sector.
“We hope there will continue to be a clear focus on delivering the Prime Minister’s commitment to cut waiting lists, particularly through delivering on the actions and recommendations of the Government’s Elective Recovery Taskforce.
“The independent sector stands ready to play the fullest possible role, supporting NHS patients, while continuing to provide vital, high-quality care to private patients too.
“We also look forward to continuing work with Ms Atkins and the department on how we can collectively keep driving up standards of quality and safety, building on the excellent progress we’ve seen across the sector in recent years.”
Hare acknowledged the work of Mr Barclay and other outgoing Ministers: “We have made good progress under Steve Barclay, and with Will Quince, in prioritising patient choice and acknowledging the role of the independent healthcare sector in enhancing overall healthcare outcomes. We commend their commitment to fostering collaboration and learning between the public and private sectors, which we are sure will continue.
“The recommendations from the Elective Recovery Taskforce, where IHPN worked alongside both Mr Barclay and Mr Quince, have provided a framework for how we can work to provide patients with choice, and maximise the impact of the capacity and capability within the independent sector.
“We have seen some progress against implementing the recommendations of the taskforce, which are making it easier for patients to choose where and how they receive care, and helping to reduce waiting times.
“We look forward to working with the new Secretary of State and new ministerial team to make further progress over what is likely to be a challenging winter for the health care sector.”