Primary care 'significant opportunity' for private sector, say analysts

GP commissioning and plans to move work out of hospitals have created 'significant opportunities' for more private provision of primary and secondary NHS services in a market worth a potential £20bn, corporate finance experts believe.

Analysts say private sector can make profits from NHS services
Analysts say private sector can make profits from NHS services

A report from financial analysts Catalyst says that contracts awarded to health firms such as Virgin Care, Circle and Serco shows ‘increasing recognition from the public sector that leveraging the private sector’s ability to invest capital and use more efficient delivery models is necessary’.

The report says that ‘significant barriers’ remain to increased private provision of GP services, highlighting the ‘domination’ of the market by small practices and ‘access to pension entitlements’.

But it says that ‘operators such as multi-practice groups like The Practice or Virgin Care are growing and private providers are estimated to be generating annual revenues of £185m’.

Removing practice boundaries and opening the door to the sale of goodwill on GP practices would help to further break down barriers to increased private provision of primary care services, the report says.

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