New report shows rise in NHS procedures carried out by private sector

The number of hospital procedures paid for by the NHS but carried out by the private sector has increased by nearly 11% over the space of a year, suggests a new report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The HSCIC report states that private providers treated 345,200 NHS elective admissions with a procedure3 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.

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 cent5 of – elective admissions involving a procedure), while the ten PCTs with the lowest proportions were all in London.

HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: “Hospital Episode Statistics have the potential to offer an incredibly rich and detailed picture of the activity happening within secondary care in this country.

“The figures also provide an insight into the relationship between the NHS and the private sector; in terms of the volume and type of work dealt with by private providers on behalf of the health service.

“Today’s report shows that NHS hospital activity continues to grow on a yearly basis – with admissions passing 15 million in England in 2011/12.”

The report can be accessed at:


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