David Furness, director of policy, Independent Healthcare Providers Network, reflects on the vital contribution the independent sector has had in supporting the NHS – delivering treatment and diagnostic services, as well as training for the next generation of medical professionals, during the height of the pandemic. The independent sector quickly stepped up in the wake of COVID-19, but how can we build on public/private relationships to assist the recovery of health services going forward?
Throughout its 73-year history, the NHS has always worked closely with the independent health sector in the delivery of high quality, free at the point of use care. Indeed, in a typical year independent acute providers deliver over half a million NHS surgical procedures, and almost half of all NHS community services providers are from the independent sector.
But since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, these public/private relationships have undoubtedly changed befor