"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A radical thought

OFT says that in 2008 the total market for private healthcare was estimated to be £5.5bn. They said that the NHS paid 23% of that or £1.3bn. Monitor says that in 2010 £252m of the income of Foundation Trusts (1.1%) was from private patients. It looks to me that so far private healthcare is "winning" by over a billion pounds per year.

So here's a radical thought. Rather than yet another upheaval in the vain attempt to try and get more of the leprechaun gold that is private patient income into NHS hospitals, why don't we just stop paying private hospitals to do NHS work? The NHS could do what it does well: cost effective, comprehensive, universal healthcare; the private sector can then do what it does: deep-pile carpet healthcare for people with leprechaun gold. And the NHS will be £1bn better off.


  1. Amen to that. Though I reckon the NHS would only save on the margin, so less than the £1 billion. It would take an injection of flexibility into the waiting list regime (the threat of a massive fine still hangs heavy over providers should they treat just not quite enough people, just not quite quick enough) and some sensible, more co-operative, commissioning.

  2. Because the people responsible for the decision to pay private hospitals to do NHS work aren't concerned with making the NHS work better, they're concerned with opening up opportunities for a 'healthcare industry' and giving private providers things to do for money, even if they do them badly.