Private healthcare providers are waiting for a Government response this week to their calls for a clear map for their involvement in tackling the NHS waiting list crisis.
Following the latest NHS performance figures showing a record 5.5m people on the health service waiting list, the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) has asked for urgent action.
Its chief executive David Hare said: ‘The scale of the challenge in tackling the backlog of care is enormous and it’s vital that an “all shoulders to the wheel” approach is taken, including a clear and sustained role for independent providers.’
An estimated 7.5m people who are ‘missing’ from the list will also need treatment.
Mr Hare warned that, as NHS Providers had made clear, the lack of clarity around funding for the NHS after September 2021 is severely hampering efforts to put in place long-term NHS–independent sector partnerships.
These would bring in much needed additional capacity to the NHS and help ensure patients get the care they need, he said.
‘With the public consistently stating that bringing down waiting lists is their number one priority for the NHS, people need to be reassured that the Government is doing everything possible to tackle this significant challenge head on.
‘A clear plan from the Government setting out how the growing care backlog will be tackled cannot come soon enough.’