Future Healthcare

Fears over AIHO demise

By Robin Stride

Private consultants and GPs have voiced concern over the shock announcement of the imminent demise of a useful ally – the Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO).

The NHS Partners Network (NHSPN), launched in 2005 and later incorporated into the broader NHS Confederation, plans to take over the job.

On the latter’s website it describes itself as ‘the authentic voice of NHS leadership. We are the only membership body that brings together, and speaks on behalf of, the whole health and care system’.

AIHO has many more private hospital members than the NHSPN, but the big groups are members of both, fuelling concerns in some quarters over their subscription costs.

In a joint statement, they claimed NHSPN, while remaining part of the NHS Confederation group, would represent ‘the interests of the entirety of the independent healthcare sector’.

Dr Brian O'Connor

Dr Brian O’Connor

But the move drew an unenthusiastic response from the Indep­endent Doctors Federation (IDF).