Outsourcing in the NHS; how significant is it?

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Whilst driving in to the office I heard Jon Ashworth on the Radio 4 Today programme stating that if the Labour party win the election, NHS outsourcing to the private sector will stop. But how significant a change would this be? Without knowing how much is outsourced to the private sector currently, listeners can’t judge how important this ambition is.

The CCG’s in England are responsible for buying in the hospital services that GP patients need.They buy some of these from NHS Acute Trusts (NHS hospitals), and they buy some from private sector providers. BUPA is generally the quoted outsourced provider that commentators mention, but in reality the biggest outsourced provider of Acute and Clinical services is Ramsay Healthcare.

The significance of this spend with the private sector is generally less than people realise.In 15/16 9.4% was commissioned by CCG’s from private sector providers and 90.6% was commissioned from within the NHS. The data is still emerging for 16/17, but currently it looks like the year will end with private sector outsourcing accounting for 14% of the services that CCG’s commission.

How do we know? Here at Porge we add up and categorise the invoices paid by over 1000 public sector bodies - including the NHS Trusts and the CCG’s. Our database includes over 90 million categorised invoices. So if you need to know what is actually happening in the public sector, talk to us about our fact based Public Sector Market Insight Services.

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