Trusts paid private firms more than £100m to treat patients waiting more than 18 weeks

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 22 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4703
  1. Helen Mooney
  1. 1London

The NHS has handed over tens of millions of pounds to private companies to treat patients who have not received treatment within18 weeks of GP referral, according to recently published figures.

The figures show that primary care trusts (PCTs) have handed over about £100m to private firms in a bid to offer treatment to patients who under the rules of the NHS constitution have challenged waiting times.

The results of an investigation by Pulse magazine found that 55 PCTs in the country have paid out nearly £40m (€45m; $65m) to private firms after complaints made under the terms of the NHS constitution—a figure which if aggregated across …

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