Delivering the 2015 Spending Review objective of successful NHS partnerships with the private sector

Document type
Discussion paper
Haldenby, Andrew
Date of publication
20 July 2016
Social Policy, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

Download (283KB )

In the November 2015 Spending Review, the Government pledged to ‘encourage long term partnerships between the NHS and the private sector’. 

It intended that such partnerships should ‘modernise’ NHS services and deliver ‘efficiencies'. 

It also highlighted the potential contribution to better diagnostics and the development of new models of care.

This research makes the following key points:

  • Private-sector companies play a much larger role in the NHS than is often realised.
  • What distinguishes successful partnerships is a focus on outcomes that the NHS wants to achieve, and a genuine sense of the contribution made by private-sector partners.
  • Modern partnerships are flexible and future-proofed, so that the NHS purchaser is protected if external circumstances change.
  • Central government should resist the temptation to direct the NHS towards partnerships, perhaps by introducing new frameworks or template contracts.

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