Private sector clinic and hospital staff are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine alongside their NHS counterparts.
New NHS guidance confirms that independent healthcare staff will have equitable access to the COVID vaccines. The CEO of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), David Hare, said: “Independent healthcare providers have played a key role in health system’s response to the pandemic, delivering care to millions of NHS and private patients. We therefore welcome the latest NHS guidance on rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers which clearly states that staff working in the independent healthcare sector will have equitable and timely access to the vaccine".
Mr Hare goes onto say, “IHPN will be working closely with central and regional NHS teams so they have full sight of their local independent sector workforce to ensure a swift rollout of the vaccine via NHS Hospital hubs which will provide maximum protection to both staff and their patients.”
The IHPN is the representative body for independent sector healthcare providers. Members of the network provide a diverse range of services to both the NHS and to private patients including acute care, primary care, community care, clinical home healthcare, diagnostics and dentistry.
NHS patients are receiving increasing access to private hospitals due to the extension of a deal which has already seen people in England get access to private hospital operations and chemotherapy treatments.
Under the NHS deal with England’s independent providers the NHS patients have a choice of the majority of the private sector’s operating theatres, beds, equipment and staff to support delivery of COVID and non-COVID care, during the pandemic.
Analysis shows that over 2 million consultations, tests, operations and chemotherapy sessions have been carried out for NHS patients by independent hospitals, since March 2020 when the agreement was struck.
Under the terms of the deal, the NHS’s use of the independent hospitals’ resources has been on an at-cost basis, with no profit being made by the independent providers from NHS work during this time.