Private sector presses its case with the Health Secretary

Private hospital operators are gearing up to present the independent healthcare sector’s strengths at a meeting with Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid tomorrow.

The get-together during a social function at the Royal College of Physicians in London is set to present opportunities for bosses and some doctors’ representatives to air their views on a range of topics arising from the pandemic.

Mr Javid is due to make a ‘short speech’ at the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) event, whose members will be eager to press home the need for NHS patients to be given more options for private treatment. 

David Hare

Responding to latest NHS performance figures, showing a record NHS waiting list of 6.2m, IHPN chief executive David Hare called it ‘vital’ for commitments in the recent NHS elective recovery plan – to give patients more choice and control of their care – to be translated into concrete action to improve access to treatment. 

He said: ‘Polling continues to show that patients are willing to travel beyond their local hospital if it means they can access faster care. 

‘But with less than half of the public aware that they can choose where they receive their NHS treatment, including in the independent sector, there must now be a real drive in the NHS to ensure the public are given all the information so they can make the best decisions about their care.’ 

Mr Hare said that, as tackling the elective backlog was the public’s number-one priority for the NHS, people would now want to see the Government delivering on its promises and ‘doing all it can to put power in the hands of patients and stop waiting lists getting out of control’.