The number of East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) NHS patients having surgery in private hospitals between Apr 2015 to Nov 2019 is just over 36,000, sparking accusations that for-profit companies are benefitting from a “collapsing” health system across East Kent.
NHS figures obtained by the Shepwayvox Team show that EKHUFT paid for 36,069 people in East Kent to have an operation in a private hospital between April 2015 and Nov 2019, at an overall cost of £16,566,826.
The privatisation of healthcare has emerged as a key issue in the general election campaign.
The figures come as EKHUFT and other NHS trusts around the UK are increasingly forced to send patients for private surgery because they are too busy and understaffed to do the operations themselves. The sharp rise in outsourcing has coincided with the waiting-list for non-urgent operations ballooning to 4.6m, across the whole of the UK, the highest figure since records began in 2007.
According to data released in Dec 2018 Patients having planned operations & care within 18 weeks of referral ranked EKHUFT as the worse trust in the Country meaning it was 131st out 131 trusts. What with the target set at 92%, England as a whole hit 86.6%, but our trust hit just 72.4%. The Trust last hit its target in Oct 2015.
The figures indicate EKHUFT staff are beginning to get on top of the waiting lists. Perhaps that has something to do with the Trust becoming clinician led rather than management led. If the financial figures keep falling as they are, then by 2020/21 the amounts being paid to for profit companies for surgery on local NHS patients will be negligible. That we believe would be a good thing, regardless of who may be in power.
The Shepwayvox Team
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