Patients will get access to more care thanks to the extension of a landmark deal which has already seen people in England benefit from more than two million tests, operations and chemotherapy treatments.
Under the NHS deal with England’s independent providers – the first of its kind –the NHS has been able to take advantage of the vast majority of the sector’s operating theatres, beds, equipment and staff to support delivery of covid and non-covid care, during the pandemic.
Analysis shows that over 2 million consultations, tests, operations and chemotherapy sessions have been carried out for NHS patients by independent hospitals, since March 2020 when the agreement was struck.
Under the terms of the deal, the NHS’s use of the independent hospitals’ resources has been on an at-cost basis, with no profit being made by the independent providers from NHS work during this time, to ensure maximum value for taxpayers.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS Chief Operating Officer, said:
“The NHS is working around the clock to tackle the biggest global health threat in a century, and has already provided care to around 200,000 people with coronavirus, while also delivering urgent operations and cancer treatments to non-covid patients.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic the NHS is continuing to work with partners across the country to expand treatment capacity, but we cannot do this alone and need the public to help by both socially distancing and taking up the opportunity to get a Covid vaccination when invited.”
The current contracts with independent hospitals will expire at the end of December, but will be replaced by new national contracts to cover January, February and March 2021, which will allow local NHS organisations to buy a range of services for NHS patients from independent providers quickly and easily to support the health service’s work on reducing waiting times for patients.
David Hare, chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:
“Since the end of March, independent sector hospitals have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with the NHS and have made a significant contribution in ensuring vital NHS treatment, including cancer care, could continue during the pandemic, with services delivered ‘at cost’ to the taxpayer. Independent providers remain committed to supporting the NHS over winter and beyond to treat as many NHS patients as possible whilst also treating growing numbers of private patients across the country.”
Since the start of Covid-19, the NHS in England has provided care to around 200,000 people with coronavirus.
- The original deal between NHS England and the independent hospital sector was agreed in March 2020.
- The deal includes the provision of nearly 1,200 ventilators, more than 10,000 nurses, over 700 doctors and over 8,000 other clinical staff across England.
- The current contracts with independent hospitals will expire at the end of December, but will be replaced by new national contracts with 14 providers to cover January, February and March 2021, and by a new framework which of nationally-consistent terms and prices.