The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSC) and NHS England would like the Treasury to finance an extension of a contract which has resulted in scores of private hospitals being paid around £ 400m a month to perform the procedures since the start of the pandemic, while the NHS suspended sections of emergency non-treatment to prioritize Covid-19 patients.
The agreement, signed in March, in effect gave the private sector control ENM of 8,000 beds, 680 operating rooms and 20,000 employees, but it was feared that many hospitals would stand near empty during of the Covid-19 crisis. He never confirmed how much the scheme costs.
Boss health believes additional capacity is vital if the NHS is to prevent the number of people awaiting treatment in England from hitting $ 10 million by the end of the year as planned by the NHS Confederation last week. The ENM of chiefs, says the Guardian of this projection has been a realistic result, especially since the physical need to move away from the means of the hospital boss project, they will be able to operate at only 60 to 70% of normal capacity.
Treasury bookings are so strong, however, that he refused to sign this agreement, which the DHSC and ENM of England, chief executive officer, Simon Stevens, had previously agreed with representatives of large hospital groups such as Health Care Arrow, Ramsay Health and HCA International Care.
Earlier this month, the Treasury intervened at the 11th hour shutdown of the DHSC after the announcement of the agreement and told NHS in England to obtain more commitments from private companies on the number of patients who will be treated monthly in exchange for the £ 400m payment.
Treasury officials believe that the evidence that the DHSC submitted to justify extending the agreement beyond the end of this month until December 2020 or March 2021 is fragile and insufficient.
They fear that private facilities have treated a few NHS patients since the previous tie-up began in late March as part of emergency coronavirus arrangements and that many have been fallow.
“Deprived of health, the facilities have been very, very quiet for the past few months. They were paid for emptying, by and large, “said Colin Hutchinson, a consultant to the ophthalmologist in the NHS and president of the anti-privatization campaign of the NHS Doctors.
The Federation of Independent Practitioners of Organizations, which represents consultants in private practice, recently warned that there has been a “gross underutilization” of non-NHS facilities and that “the money is going into the sector private is a total loss ”.
NHS England has refused to disclose how many patients have been treated by private providers since the month of March, even though they collect this data every day.
A senior from the ENM’s current source of the plan, said: “The deal with the private sector costs around £ 400m a month, so the Treasury said they had to provide an analysis of profitability for the [extending] vs’. They weren’t going to cover that £ 400m a month based on the evidence they thought was fragile and a bit sparse.
“The DHSC submitted only a small piece of paper and did not put a detailed analysis into it. It did not describe how many transactions where the taxpayer would get money back. But the Treasury wanted many more details before they agreed to subscribe to £ 400m a month for many months. ”
NHS chiefs point out that the service will need to send patients to private facilities for the foreseeable future, as hospitals will only be able to operate at 60% to 70% of their capacity due to the need to keep them as free from the virus as possible. The application of rule-breaking physics in hospitals, has forced them to treat only three or four patients in bays designed for six years, for example.
NHS in England and the Independence of the Healthcare Network Providers are under negotiation, in an attempt to reach an agreement that can satisfy the Treasury. Chancellor Rish Sunak is heard to be concerned about the huge sums the government has been forced to spend to support public services, jobs and the wider economy to stop the coronavirus crisis from bringing the country to its knees.
David Hare, the CEO of the Independent Health Care Provider Network, said: “After treating tens of thousands of NHS patients during the peak of the pandemic, independent hospital providers are working closely with government to get a lot more from the NHS of treated patients, while freeing up the capacity for return to treat more private insurance and self-pay patients. ”
An NHS spokesperson said: “Tens of thousands of NHS patients across the country have already benefited from safe access to emergency operations, cancer treatment and other tests and controls, despite the importance of the challenges posed by the coronavirus, and at the same time as an additional contribution of capacity, personnel and equipment to treat people who have the virus.
“With the first phase of this virus now behind us, talks are ongoing about what independent assistance hospitals can provide to their local ENM counterparts as we intend to bring as many services as possible into the safest way for patients and staff, while remaining ready for any future increase in Covid-19 cases. ”