Private doctors are on the rise, but still trail pre-Covid era

Latest key trends for the private sector show a gradual rise in the number of consultants who are actively working in the independent sector.

A steady increase has been recorded in figures released by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN).

It said: ‘Following a traditional seasonal fall in December, the number of consultants actively treating private patients continued to grow month on month in Q1 2022. 

‘March 2022 saw the fourth highest number active since the pandemic began. However, this figure was still 10% below March 2019.’ 

Compared to the largely pre-Covid first quarter of 2019, the data for the same period this year records a drop of 1,515 consultants in ten top specialties.

PHIN said this was most pronounced for general medicine (down 39%) and cardiology (down 21%). The lowest change was general surgery (down 5%). 

ENT replaces medical oncology in the top ten specialities from the previous reporting period.  

The data was taken from PHIN’s unique national private dataset describing admitted activity (day case and inpatient). 

It said this excluded activity outside of its mandate from the Competition and Markets Auth­ority (CMA), such as outpatient diagnostics and mental health.