NHS hospitals: new figures suggest 11 per cent increase in procedures carried out by private sector in a year


The number of hospital procedures paid for by the NHS but carried out by the private sector has increased by nearly 11 per cent in one year, new figures suggest. Private providers treated 345,200 NHS elective admissions with a procedure in 2011/12 , a 32,900 (10.5 per cent) increase on 2010/11.

This private activity accounted for 4.3 per cent of all NHS elective admissions with a procedure in 2011/12 (8.0 million) compared to 4.0 per cent in 2010/11 (7.7 million) according to Hospital Episodes Statistics Admitted Patient Care, England 2011/12.

The three most common main procedures carried out by the 198 private providers for the NHS in 2011/12 were endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract, relating to the digestive system (23,100), prosthesis of lens relating to cataract surgery (20,800) and endoscopic cartilage operations on knee joints (20,500).

Regionally in 2011/12, Southampton City Primary Care Trust (PCT) commissioned the biggest proportion of work of any PCT from private providers (10,100 – or 30.3 per cent5of – elective admissions involving a procedure), while the ten PCTs with the lowest proportions were all in London.