PPUs ordered to return to pre-Covid revenue levels

PPU Watch

Compiled by Philip Housden

The NHS National Planning Guidance details ten priorities for 2022-23, all based on an assumption that Covid-19 returns to a low level. 

Guidance focuses on the ability of NHS trusts to make significant progress in the first part of the new financial year from April 2022 to restore services and reduces backlogs. 

In support of this, an additional elective recovery fund of £2.3bn will be available to trusts next year and healthcare systems will continue to receive fixed allocations for Covid-19 services, but at a reduced level of 57% less when compared to 2021-22. 

However, no support will be available to NHS trusts for the loss of non-NHS income as a result of the pandemic. 

This is a material sum, as across England trusts reported a 44% reduction of private patient revenues in 2020-21, a drop of £294.5m on the record total of £674.4m achieved in 2019-20. 

This fall averages at an approximate £2.1m per trust. 

The ability of trusts to resume private patient services depends on various factors including the extent to which any dedicated capacity has been protected through Covid and/or re-opened after a period of support for core NHS services.

Sulis Hospital Bath gains endoscopy JAG accreditation 

Sulis Hospital Bath, the 51-bed unit bought from Circle in 2021 by the city’s Royal United Hospital NHS Trust, has achieved Joint Advisory Group on GI endoscopy’s accreditation for the unit’s endoscopy suite. 

The assessment, managed by the Joint Advisory Group on GI Endoscopy, includes a site inspection.

Head of nursing and allied health professionals, Jennifer Anstey, praised the team for their commitment to high standards: ‘We are delighted that we have achieved accreditation for another five-year period. A big congratulations to the hospital and to the team for achieving this accreditation.’

Recently, the hospital announced that Sulis Hospital treated more than 700 NHS patients in support of the region’s waiting list initiatives. 

In 2020-21, the trust reported private patient incomes of £585,000, down 34% from £882,000 the year before. 

This is a decline from 0.27% to 0.16% of total trust income and in line with the NHS-wide impact from Covid. 

But the trust’s private patient revenues can be expected to significantly increase as the market recovers in 2022 and as the trust inherits a proportion of the prior activity of Circle.

Bath Hospital, the previous name for Sulis, which treated 2,910 private and 3,800 NHS patients in the year to June 2021.

Philip Housden (right) is a director of Housden Group. See his feature article on PPUs in the North-East region:  ‘Time to collaborate