NHS Providers responds to expanded use of independent sector to cut NHS waiting lists

04 August 2023

Responding to an announcement that the government plans to expand the use of independent sector capacity to cut NHS waiting lists, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"With waiting lists at a record high, trusts will welcome additional support to ensure more patients get timely access to the NHS tests, scans and the treatment they need.

"The independent sector has been a long-standing partner of the NHS. Today's announcement aims to strengthen that partnership on diagnostics and planned operations.

"But this announcement must form one part of a bigger solution as the NHS bears down on waiting lists.

"It's vital that an increase in diagnostic capacity is matched by increased capacity across the health and care system to deliver the treatments patients need once diagnosed.

"The long-term workforce plan sets out a vision to put the NHS workforce on an sustainable footing in the years to come, but questions must rightly be asked about how this additional capacity will be fully delivered given national skills shortages for some roles.

"And while investment in community diagnostic centres is welcome, it is also vital that the NHS is given the capital funding it needs now and in the longer term to expand its own diagnostics capacity amid a backdrop of growing patient demand."