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NHS Outsourcing and Privatisation

Part of Royal Assent – in the House of Commons at 4:17 pm on 23rd May 2018.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health 4:17 pm, 23rd May 2018

Mr Deputy Speaker has asked me to make a bit of progress, so let me do so.

Underfunding and lack of capacity have driven more and more NHS purchasing from the private sector. We have seen beds lost in NHS hospitals, which are then increasingly forced to use the private sector. Spending on elective treatments outsourced to the private sector rose from £241 million in 2015-16 to £381 million in 2016-17. In many instances—from mental health provision and detox services for those suffering from substance misuse, to routine elective operations—we often see a poor quality of service in the private sector. The House does not have to take my word for it; the Secretary of State himself intervened recently to demand that the private sector gets its house in order. These risks have been known for years, since the Paterson scandal, and I note that the Government are not proposing to legislate.