31 / 3 / 2017 10.04am
Responding to the NHS England delivery plan, David Hare, Chief Executive of the NHS Partners Network, said:
“The independent sector already plays a critical role in NHS service provision across a wide range of sectors including specialised, acute, community, primary, clinical home healthcare, diagnostic imaging, pathology and minor oral surgery and increasingly in population health management and health technology. This capital, capacity and capability is vitally important in offering patients timely access to NHS care and in delivering value for the taxpayer.
“The delivery plan makes important commitments around developing 150 Urgent Treatment Centres, introducing new multi-disciplinary Rapid Diagnostic and Assessment Centres and supporting hospitals address problems with delayed discharge. We believe that the independent sector has a key role to play in all three of these areas. We also welcome the commitment that ‘third party experts’ will be deployed to support with population health management capabilities within accountable care systems.
“In implementing these changes the evolving health and care architecture will need to be underpinned by robust governance processes, including open and transparent appointment mechanisms and strong management of potential conflicts of interests. It will also be vital for Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships to be genuinely inclusive of all operators and used to support a diverse and vibrant provider base.
“We welcome the renewed commitment in the Delivery Plan to supporting patients’ legal right to choose and in implementing universal coverage of the e-referral service to help patients and clinicians choose providers with the shortest waiting times where that is appropriate. We expect to see this helping to ensure that the NHS can work towards meeting constitutional commitments on access to planned care and for the independent acute sector to continue to play an important role in the delivery of NHS elective services.”