London private providers group gets new name

PPU Watch

Compiled by Philip Housden.

Healthcare London is the new name for the private healthcare providers group supported by the Department of Business and Trade. 

Originally badged The London International Healthcare Council, the group includes a range of independent providers and is also open to the NHS, of which two central London trusts are currently understood to be involved, with others being approached for inclusion. 

The purpose of the group is to put London on the medical tourism map in a much greater way than it ever has been before. 

PPU Watch will report on progress in future issues.

Independent Practitioner Today announced the group’s formation in June – see our front-page story in June entitled ‘Drive to boost London’.


ISCAS urges PPUs to join 

Competition and Markets Auth­ority (CMA) executive director Michael Grenfell has written to NHS England to prompt action by NHS trusts to comply with the law and get private patient units (PPUs) to submit consistent data. 

His letter states: ‘Despite the Order having been in force since 2014, and compliance having been required since 2016, our monitoring shows that compliance among a minority of hospitals is unsatisfactory. . . 

‘Levels of compliance have been particularly low among PPUs. For example, as of August 2023 no PPU had provided PHIN with publishable data on health outcomes. … 

‘Given the poor compliance performance of PPUs to date and the fact that PPUs are now some of the larger non-compliant providers, we would like to explore more efficient ways to ensure that PPUs provide the information to PHIN that is legally required of them regarding their private work.’

Sally Taber, director of the Indep­endent Sector Complaints Adjud­ication Service (ISCAS), said: ‘This letter will hopefully also encourage PPUs to subscribe to ISCAS. Seventeen are currently subscribed but progress remains slow.’ 

ISCAS points out that NHS trusts should be ensuring any patients have access to an external review stage should they have a complaint that cannot be solved – a service not covered within NHS trusts without such external support.

Further growth and record revenues for NHS trusts in England 

England’s NHS trusts achieved significant growth in private patients incomes but are still not operating at pre-Covid levels, according to Housden Group analysis of the 2022-23 annual accounts. 

Total revenues rose £102.2m to £645.7m for NHS trusts in England (£543.5m in 2021-22), an 18.8% rise. Revenue growth was much higher last year at 70.8% and £267.6m but this was the first year of the ‘Covid bounce-back’.

See my full report next month

Philip Housden (right) is director of Housden Group commercial healthcare consultancy