More than £ 96 billion in healthcare funding has gone to non-NHS providers over the past decade, including private companies such as Virgin Care, according to a study.
The amount of money flowing out of the NHS in England for for-profit businesses, voluntary groups and nonprofits has grown from £ 8.4bn in 2010 to £ 14.4bn in the year last, a jump of 72%.
Private companies were given £ 9.7bn of that £ 14.4bn to undertake work such as planned surgeries, CT scans and other diagnostic scans, and community services such as nursing home care. district, according to Labor Party analysis of NHS England annual reports and summary accounts.
Justin Madders, a shadow minister of health, said: “It is clear that under the Conservatives, spending on private health companies has spiraled out of control.
He said the figure of £ 14.4 billion represented 11.7% of the total NHS operating budget for 2019-2020.
The actual total for the decade will be higher than the £ 96.99 billion identified by Labor, as it found no figures available for 2011-12 and 2012-13. Considering the figure of £ 8.4bn for 2010-11, the overall total is expected to be well over £ 100bn.
The coronavirus pandemic and a waiting list of 4.7 million patients requiring hospital treatment, mainly surgery, are forcing the NHS England to increasingly resort to the private sector. Last year he announced plans to spend up to £ 10bn over the next four years outsourcing work to private companies with the aim of reducing treatment times such as joint replacements. hip and knee, cancer care and cataract removal.
The proposed spending is less than the £ 400million per month that the Treasury handed over to the private sector in the early months of the pandemic last year. The NHS has indeed reserved the full capacity of private hospitals – beds, equipment and staff – to maintain normal care while NHS facilities focused on treating people with Covid.
Doctors say patients who needed life-saving care got it quickly, especially with cancers and time-sensitive heart procedures. London’s NHS has sent more patients to private hospitals than any other part of the country.
However, neither NHS England nor the private sector released a detailed breakdown of the number of healthcare-funded patients treated at independent healthcare facilities, and the Treasury was so concerned that a contract was underutilized. as expensive as last year, it refused to do so. renew the agreement under the same conditions.
Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have repeatedly promised that there will be no more privatization of the NHS and that it is not for sale. The next NHS bill, which is due to be included in the Queen’s speech on May 11, will contain proposals to remove the duties imposed on the NHS in England by the Health and Welfare Act 2012 in order to bid a wide range of contracts.
Labor analysis shows that the amount of the health services budget going to non-NHS providers has increased every year since 2010, and especially after the 2012 legislation came into effect in 2013. For example, the total of £ 11.5bn spent this way in 2014 -5 was up £ 1.4bn, or 12%, from the previous year.
Opinion polls have found voters of all partisan stripes oppose outsourcing of care to the NHS. Last week, dozens of MPs from major parties, including the Conservatives, attended a briefing on the issue by the EveryDoctor campaign group, a grassroots physician network.
Dr John Lister, Keep Our NHS Public secretary, said: “Over £ 97 billion has been literally siphoned off from an already under-budget, leaving the performance of the NHS to fall further behind. The use of private providers fragments and weakens the NHS, especially in mental health where private provision is most extensive, but also in elective surgery and many community health services.
A government spokesperson said: “We have always been clear that the NHS is not and never will be for sale to the private sector. The health service will always be free at the point of use and no one will ever be excluded from treatment because of the cost.
“Commissioners’ healthcare spending with non-NHS organizations, as noted, includes spending with charities and local authorities, not just private sector providers. All healthcare providers are legally required to register with the Care Quality Commission and follow a set of core safety and quality standards. Their sole aim is to provide high quality medical care to all who need it. “