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The Private Healthcare System & the NHS – How they Work Together

Is the NHS being affected by the private healthcare system?

So you attend a private hospital as an NHS patient. It may leave you confused? Is the NHS being privatised? will I be asked for any payment? How is it that I can be seen in a private hospital if I’m not private? How do the NHS and the private healthcare system work alongside each other?

How the NHS & private healthcare system work together

The reality is, NHS & Private healthcare going hand in hand is not a new thing. In fact, the independent sector has been offering NHS care for at least 20 years. Initially, this was under “spot purchase” where NHS hospitals would outsource work to reduce waiting times. Latterly private hospitals have become primary providers of care through ‘choose and book’. This is where your GP practice can book directly for any qualified provider service either traditional NHS or independent hospital.

Is the treatment quality worth the cost?

So does this cost more? The answer is no. Each patient treatment episode carries a standard NHS tariff which is paid to both NHS and private hospitals when they do the work. You may find that treatment times vary, with private hospitals seeing and treating patients quicker, however, there are measures in place to prevent patients treated at NHS hospitals from being disadvantaged. The main advantage to patients is that you will always see the chosen consultant in the private sector, whereas in the NHS you may see a member of the consultants’ team

Remember, on the whole, the patient has the right to choose (within reason and area) who they wish to see, so consider that when you visit your GP and discuss your preferences with them.

the NHS and private healthcare system working together

Looking for private orthopaedic treatment?

Our specialist consultants can treat a range of conditions – from foot and ankle injuries to groin pain. Learn more and get in touch below:


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