Monday, September 3, 2012

Private healthcare trusts to run NHS services?

The headlines are perhaps a little bit more dramatic than the reality - which is often the case. But the news that an ailing NHS trust in South London could potentially be run by a private healthcare trust is interesting for a number of reasons. Not least of which is that, if this proposed solution came to pass, it could conceivably have an effect on how we view the running of services and maybe move towards a more dynamic situation whereby services can be sustainable and - most importantly of all - people can get the services they require without the operation losing money.

At the moment it's simply a matter of private healthcare trusts being asked if, in theory, they would like to take over this trust. According to news reports the trust in question had accrued 150 million pounds of debt since coming into existence three years ago, and has long waiting times for treatment and also longer than average A&E waiting times.

Of course, if this trust was run by a private trust, it wouldn't wholly amount to the setting of a healthcare precedent in the UK - since earlier this year  an NHS hospital has been run by a private company with early signs of success including shortened waiting times.

However, what we could see in the coming months and years is the beginning of a healthcare paradigm shift whereby the already complementary public and private healthcare systems see more in terms of working alongside each other to provide treatment.

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