IHPN Industry Barometer: State of the Sector 2023

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The Market – prospects

Self-pay continues to represent the greatest opportunities for future growth, but feedback reflects that demand is decelerating. The outlook for company schemes has also improved from last year, reflecting employer concerns about NHS waiting lists.

This continues the theme from last year, though it’s noteworthy that 8% of respondents now feel that declining consumer confidence is also a factor. Inflationary pressures on businesses appears again this year and unsurprisingly remains a key issue for respondents. 

Respondents feel that access to skilled workforce and overall workforce shortages remain the greatest challenge facing the independent sector. This is similar to 2022, with pressure on wages and prices for services being the largest impacts on business. This year an increased number of respondents are concerned with declining consumer confidence.

Finally, concerns about NHS policy towards independent providers have increased from last year’s survey, and reflects the difficulties respondents have had engaging with systems over the past 12 months.  

Since IHPN’s industry-wide net zero commitment in 2021, confidence levels are increasing year on year. Pleasingly, 76% are confident or reasonably confident that their organisation will meet this ambitious target – an increase from 70%. IHPN continues to provide support and subject matter expertise to all providers.

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