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AIHO letter to The Telegraph re ‘‘Pain tests’ being used to screen hip and knee patients by one in 10 health bosses

Press Release - 11 April 2017

Fiona Booth comments on the article in The Telegraph.

Dear Sir,

Your article ‘‘Pain tests’ being used to screen hip and knee patients by one in 10 health bosses’, (11 April) reports on the number of inappropriate tests being used to ration hip and knee surgery for eligible patients in one in ten local health areas.

hip replacement x-rayThe Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO) welcomes the comments made by Clare Marx, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, in the article, highlighting such tactics risk costing the NHS more in subsequent years. We believe placing arbitrary restrictions and rationing treatment for patients in the NHS is a false economy and will only lead to further costs, not only for the health service, but also the wider economy.

The NHS should continue to use the capacity available through independent hospitals to help patients receive timely access to elective operations such as hip and knee surgery. Amid increasing pressures on the health service, the independent sector has the capacity to treat NHS patients - at a cost set by the NHS - and can play an important role in ensuring people are treated quickly and able to return to their daily lives.

Our recent ‘Joint Working’ report showed hip and knee operations being carried out by the independent sector contributed an estimated £540 to £692 million to the UK economy each year through reduced employee sick days, knock-on business productivity, welfare and benefit savings, and savings to the NHS. These savings demonstrate it’s in everyone’s interest to ensure people are still receiving quick access to elective operations.

We believe there needs to be a strategic conversation between the NHS and the independent sector about how we can collaboratively plan and work together to ensure the system is sustainable. This will enable us to meet Britain’s growing healthcare demands and ensure more patients have swift access to the care they need.

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Booth

Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations


- ENDS -



Notes to Editors:

The Joint Working economic contribution calculation: Monmouth Partners created a model that estimates welfare costs avoided and productivity gains resulting from the independent sector’s delivery of hip and knee replacements. Their estimate provides a lower and upper range – the lower range estimate is reflective of England’s average Gross Value Added (GVA) and an upper range is reflective of London’s GVA. This resulted in an estimated range of gains between £255 million and £407 million. This is calculated using published Office of National Statistics (ONS) and other official statistics in conjunction with the activity model outputs described in Section 3 of the report. The economic value of the independent sector’s provision of hip and knee replacements to patients who choose not to access NHS services is valued at £285 million, and has been calculated using standard NHS tariff rates for hip and knee replacement procedures. Further detail is provided in the full report.

For more information:

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