GP consortia will be asked to market ideas abroad

GP consortia and NHS providers will be encouraged to sell their ideas and innovations across the world, according to health minister Earl Howe.

Earl Howe: there must be safeguards to ensure NHS treatment does not suffer as a result of the new 'commercially aggressive' NHS
Earl Howe: there must be safeguards to ensure NHS treatment does not suffer as a result of the new 'commercially aggressive' NHS

Addressing the NHS Innovation Expo in London, Earl Howe said that innovative ideas and services in the NHS worth £150bn should be sold abroad to drive growth in the UK economy.

Hospitals should treat more private and foreign patients, or open branches abroad to make money, he said.

Moorefields Eye Hospital already has a centre in Dubai that creates 2.4m for the NHS, he said.

Lord Howe said any intellectual property, including commissioning solutions or products, could be sold to the global healthcare market, which he said was worth 4 trillion globally.

Direct provision is only a part of it. Consultancy and know-how is a huge opportunity.

'Tools to support commissioning will have a direct application elsewhere and be of commercial value to others,' he said.

Earl Howe said there must be safeguards to ensure NHS patients' treatment does not suffer as a result of the new 'commercially aggressive' NHS. 

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