29 July 2011
General healthcare research conducted by the Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP) has showed that the NHS is failing to treat non-emergency patients in adequate time.
The CCP claimed managers within the NHS were deliberately stalling operations in the hope that patients would turn to private healthcare instead.
Minimum waiting times were described as being introduced in order to save time and expenditure. However, the NHS Confederation, which represents providers and commissioners in the NHS, criticised the report for causing "unnecessary public anxiety".
Health minister Andrew Lansley said: "This is exactly why we need to put patients' interests first."
A significant amount of private healthcare services are already outsourced from the NHS. Research from Laing Buisson and Health Market News from March this year showed that the amount of NHS schemes using independent sector treatment centres had soared since figures were last published in 2008.
With all 23 existing schemes brought together, the study revealed they performed an average 97 per cent of their contracted value in the final three months of 2010.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
1 Cooperation and Competition Panel, "Review Of the Operation Of 'Any Willing Provider' for the Provision of Routine Elective Care: Final Report". Thursday July 28th 2011.
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