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20
Nov

Treatment shift from Trusts to private


In 2010, most patients still received care from their nearest NHS Trust but since then there has been a greater shift to treatment in privately owned centres, a study reveals

In 2010, most patients still received care from their nearest NHS Trust but since then there has been a greater shift to treatment in privately owned centres, a study reveals

The study carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, was commissioned to determine how the reforms of the Blair government in 2006 and 2008 have changed where care takes place.

Independent Sector Treatment Centres (ISTCs), privately-owned centres that treat NHS-funded patients, had gone from a "negligible presence" in outpatient care to accounting for 3.5% of all first appointments in 2010/11, the Belfast Telegraph reports in its examination of the data.

According to the study, the overall volume of patients seeing all providers has increased since 2006, but there had been a shift away from local NHS trusts and towards private providers.

ISTCs increased their share of inpatient admissions for a range of operations, with referrals to ISTCs accounting for around half of the change in where GPs refer patients since 2006/07.

Elaine Kelly, IFS research economist and one of the authors of the report, said: "The use of private providers to treat NHS patients is no longer a marginal policy reform and deserves greater investigation.

"There has been a significant shift in market shares over the past five years frompatients' nearest NHS hospitals to private providers. For some procedures, almost one in five NHS-funded operations are now carried out by the privatesector."

More information on the report can be found here:
http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/publications/choosing-place-of-care

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