HC Deb 08 April 1998 vol 310 cc363-4W
Mr. Nicholls

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimates he has made of(a) the number of patients treated privately each year and (b) the impact of this on the size of NHS waiting lists; [36730]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of patients treated privately in each of the last three years. [36467]

Mr. Milburn

The information for in-patient treatment in National Health Service hospitals is as follows. Information shown is based on finished consultant episodes, which represent the number of episodes of care under individual consultants. There are known shortfalls and data quality problems in the provisional 1996/97 data which are currently being investigated.

Ordinary admissions and day cases combined: completed episodes (FCEs) of private patients treated in NHS hospitals
Year FCEs
1993–94 93,048
1994–95 99,359
1995–96 107,182
1996–97 89,831


Data for 1993–94 to 1995–96 are grossed for both coverage and unknown/invalid clinical data.

Data for 1996–97 are provisional and are derived from ungrossed HES data.

Information on the number of patients treated in the independent sector is not collected. Professor Brian Williams looked at the activity of short stay independent hospitals in 1992–93. The results of his survey were published in the British Medical Journal on 25 June 1994 (BMJ 1994;308:18699–701).

We have made no estimate of the impact on NHS waiting lists. This will depend on how far patients treated privately would otherwise have been accepted for treatment under the NHS.

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