Spire Healthcare’s response to the Competition Commission’s provisional findings

Rob Roger, CEO Spire Healthcare

“Spire Healthcare plays a significant role in the UK’s healthcare through our 38 hospitals and 11 clinics.  We offer a wide range of services to patients, whether funded through medical insurance or self-pay, and we also support the NHS by providing hospital services to NHS patients. 

“We believe it is important that patients and their insurers can be confident that they are being charged fairly for their treatment, and that private hospitals are allowed to continue to provide an essential contribution to the nation’s healthcare needs. 

“We have supported and fully co-operated with the Competition Commission’s investigation.  However, we strongly disagree with some of the findings in their report, including, that there are Spire hospitals facing little competition, that we make excessive profits and that we have disproportionate bargaining power over insurers.  We believe these findings, and the remedies proposed, are based on an unrealistic assessment of the markets in which we operate, and the level of investment necessary to operate a high quality hospital.  These findings are also contrary to the evidence we presented to the Competition Commission.

“We continue to invest heavily in the company and last year we invested over £55m in new facilities, equipment and services.  These investments help us deliver very high clinical outcomes and achieve high rates of patient satisfaction.  Last year 92% of patients rated our quality of service as very good or excellent and according to recent NHS Partners Network  data Spire has the largest number of hospitals in the top 50 (eight) for patient ‘health gain’ following hip replacement, with four Spire hospitals in the top 50 for patient ‘health gain’ following knee replacement.

“We support the Competition Commission’s recommendations on increasing transparency around clinical outcomes and pricing. We have been working with the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), which is a group of all the main private hospital providers, to publish clinical data on the PHIN website.  Earlier this year we also published the prices of the top 75 self-pay procedures on our website.  Anything which helps GPs and patients make informed decisions about their healthcare is to be welcomed.

“We will be working with the Competition Commission to address these issues before the final report due next year.”

 

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