Private hospitals paid billions to treat just eight Covid patients a day

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According to the government, despite a multi-billion-pound deal with the government, private hospitals treated just eight Covid patients a day during the pandemic.

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Non-NHS hospitals in England also performed very few operations – such as hip and knee replacements – on NHS-funded patients.

This is despite hospitals agreeing a deal worth nearly £5bn with the government aimed at helping prevent healthcare overwhelmed by demand during the pandemic.


In March 2020, the Treasury agreed to pay for a deal to book 7,956 beds with staff at 187 private hospitals in England – around 20,000 – at a cost of £400 million a month.

But, according to a think tank report, private hospitals did not treat any COVID patients on 39 per cent of the days in the year till March 2021.

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On another 20 percent of the days they looked after only one person, according to the Center for Health and Public Interest (CHPI) report.

Private hospitals provided only 3,000 of the expected 3.6m Covid bed days in those 13 months.

CHPI researcher Sid Ryan, who wrote the report, told Guardian: “Despite the fact that taxpayers paid undeclared billions to the private hospital sector, which prevented some companies from falling into ruin, official figures show they have treated barely any COVID patients and have been critical of the NHS for the pandemic.” Given less alternative work than before.”

Labor MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the Commons Public Accounts committee, said the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) “has repeatedly demonstrated its lack of capacity in dealing with the private sector”.

It has urged the DHSC to “refund how much care private hospitals provided and for treatment, which were paid for but not given”.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “We will make no apologies for ensuring that the NHS has the resources necessary to care for patients during the global pandemic.

“The primary objective of the independent sector deal was to treat non-COVID-19 patients, provide immediate cancer services and other life-saving treatments.

“These contracts, awarded at a cost to a non-profit basis, have led to the provision of approximately 1,200 ventilators, over 10,000 nurses, over 700 doctors and over 8,000 other clinical staff across England, as well as approximately 2 million consultations, Tested, enabled operation. and chemotherapy sessions for NHS patients between March and the end of 2020.”


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