Getting it together

It has been a frustrating time for consultants in private practice, but the boss of the independent hospitals’ trade body, David Hare, appeals for continued co-operation between the two parts as the sector learns to work differently, adapt and develop new ways of workin .

While the NHS and independent health sector have been working closely together for over 70 years, there is no doubt that in just the last 70 days the relationship between the two sectors has changed irrevocably. 

The block-booking of virtually all independent hospital capacity by the NHS has seen the two sectors working hand in hand to ensure that NHS patients get the care they need during the coronavirus pandemic. 

But what has this meant in practice for those working in independent healthcare providers’ facilities and what does the future hold for the independent healthcare sector?

As Independent Practitioner Today readers will be able to testify, tackling the clinical, operational, legal and staffing challenges associated with putting all independent hospital capacity – including almost 20,000 employees, 8,000 beds and over 1,000 ventilators – at the disposal of the NHS is no mean feat.

At the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), we therefore took the decision to set up an independent sector Hospital Taskforce.