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Pandemic collaboration ‘no longer exists’ between NHS and private hospitals

The collaboration seen between the independent sector and the NHS during the peaks of the pandemic “doesn’t exist any more”, the boss of one of the UK’s largest private hospital companies has said.

Mr Justin Ash, chief executive of Spire Healthcare and a member of the government’s recently convened elective recovery task force, whose purpose is to ”focus on how the NHS can [better] utilise independent sector to cut the backlog’.”

He told the Westminster Health Forum earlier this week: “In spirit there is collaboration but in practice, it doesn’t exist anymore. There is no more commissioning by trust[s]”.

Mr Ash told the conference Spire had previously had administrative teams working at 39 different NHS hospitals examining which NHS patients could be treated at one of its facilities. That number was now three, a decline which he described as “a shame”.

He said: “There has to be a mindset change. We have people say ‘you have our nurses and consultants working for you’.

“[But] just like patients, nurses and consultants should be able to move around the system [as] one workforce.”

Read full story  (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 16 December 2022


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