Row emerges over NHS deal with private sector

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  • NHSE terminates block contracts with all London private hospitals
  • Senior private sector source said move ‘shocked’ providers and ‘cast doubts’ over capacity availability for London NHS trusts
  • Move comes as two sides try to broker new national deal
  • NHSE reportedly under significant ministerial pressure to drive down costs

The NHS and private hospitals are on a collision course over a new multibillion-pound deal for how the service will access the independent sector’s capacity.

NHS England this week terminated a number of its block contracts including those with all the inner London private hospitals — established at the beginning of the covid outbreak — in a move one senior private sector source told HSJ had “come out the blue and [had] shocked” the providers.

NHSE told HSJ the terms of an interim arrangement, due to cover the period from now until a “re-procured national framework agreement” is put in place in the autumn, had not yet been agreed.

The NHS is also under significant pressure from ministers to drive down costs for the new deal. Even though the original deal involved the NHS paying cost price, those costs in areas like London appear to be proving a stumbling block.


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Date: 7 August 2020