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British adults support greater use of independent health providers

New YouGov data reveals that two-thirds of British adults support greater use of independent health providers to cut waiting times amid cross-party calls for NHS reform

New YouGov polling has found that two-thirds (65%) of British adults support the NHS using more independent health providers to perform operations or treatments, as long as they remain free at the point of use and cut down waiting times.

The figures also show that 71% of Brits supported insourcing, a process whereby independent health providers utilise existing NHS facilities and equipment to maximize its use at times when they are not otherwise being used (e.g. during evenings and at weekends) to perform NHS operations and treatments.

This data comes amid cross-party calls for greater independent sector involvement in the NHS, with Keir Starmer making ‘reform’ a key lynchpin of his recent speech at Labour conference.

NHS waiting lists in England have risen to a record 7.75 million, despite Rishi Sunak making reducing the waiting times one of his central pledges, and these figures shed a light on the public’s positive attitude towards greater independent health sector involvement if it can reduce the NHS backlog and improve outcomes for patients.

The polling was commissioned by 18 Week Support which provides insourcing support to NHS trusts by treating patients and utilising NHS facilities when they’re not being used during evenings and weekends. 18 Week Support has helped over 50 NHS trusts to cut waiting lists by treating patients, and is keen to raise awareness of the huge potential for insourcing – not to be confused with outsourcing – to reduce overly long NHS waiting lists.

Former government health adviser Ed Jones, said:

“Healthcare leaders, managers and Ministers have struggled to deliver a truly 7-day NHS. But the NHS needs all the additional, high-quality capacity it can find if it’s to reduce the waiting list and treat patients on time. Driving better use of their own fixed assets by bringing in clinical teams to fully utilise facilities (notably at evenings and weekends) is proving an increasingly common solution for many hospitals – particularly for priority services like cancer diagnosis.”

18 Week Support CEO Claire Dubowski commented:

“18 Week Support’s sole aim is to improve patient care and outcomes by helping the NHS reduce waiting lists. We are proud of how we support the NHS by making the best possible use of existing NHS buildings and equipment. We help to maximise the NHS’s output by our fully-trained clinicians treating patients at weekends and in evenings when the facilities would otherwise not be used.

“Insourcing means that NHS Trusts can reduce their waiting lists and patients can be treated quickly and efficiently in an NHS environment that they already know, helping them lead healthier lives and limiting the stress of waiting too long for important treatment.”

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