We’re all in this battle together

All for one and one for all – David Hare shows how independent practitioners are supporting the NHS in battling the coronavirus pandemic.

If there was ever any doubts as to the vital role that the independent health sector plays in delivering healthcare to the nation, then the onset of the coronavirus should well and truly have put these to rest. 

I’m proud to say that both independent health providers and practitioners have truly stepped up to the plate and are working hand in hand with the NHS to ensure the health system is doing all it can to tackle Covid-19. 

Recognising the need to drastically increase its bed, workforce and ventilator capacity, the NHS announcement at the end of March was a historic deal with independent hospital providers –brokered by the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN).

It has put virtually all the sector’s inpatient capacity at the NHS’s disposal over the last few difficult weeks and for many ahead. 

Critically, this means 20,000 extra staff, including more than 10,000 nurses and 700 doctors are being deployed flexibly between NHS hospitals and the private sector according to local demands on services; as well as an extra 8,000 beds and, crucially, an additional 1,200 ventilators.