Patients with private health insurance will be the main beneficiaries of the Health and Social Care Bill, as NHS hospitals across England reveal plans to expand their private facilities.
The NHS reforms, originally proposed by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, will remove the cap on earnings from private companies. With the cap removed, many NHS hospitals will look to boost their income by improving and expanding their private patient services.
More than seven NHS trusts across England have already revealed plans to increase their private facilities in preparation for the new bill.
In the East, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust plans to start construction work on a new complex containing a private hospital in 2012. Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has also recently began a project with private provider Spire Healthcare.
In the Midlands, Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust plans to establish a new private patient’s facility. In the South, Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust looks to invest £2.5million in a private ward of single rooms.
In London, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust plans to increase its number of private care beds by 30% by 2012. Additionally, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust plans to refurbish its private patient wing.
Richard Theo of ActiveQuote says, “There is a lot of controversy over the proposed NHS reforms, but the bill will actually benefit people with private medical insurance. There are many benefits to staying in a private unit. A patient with health insurance will avoid the long NHS queues and be treated at a time of their choice, with a consultant of their choice. Patients with health insurance will also be treated in an en-suite private room, with use of a personal telephone and television. A private unit in an NHS hospital will benefit from the comprehensive services of a large hospital, including access to cutting edge clinical research.”
Private medical insurance news: 15 October 2011