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Increased reliance on private sector holds dangers for NHS, says report

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 30 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e756
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Private companies looking to provide health services in England under opportunities created by the Health and Social Care Bill have an inherent conflict of interests between their shareholders and patients that NHS users will have to learn to question, says a campaigning group.

The NHS Support Federation, which describes itself as an independent pressure group that works to protect and promote the principles of the NHS, has looked in detail at the structure and business history of six private companies that currently provide NHS services and at whether there is evidence that this sector can solve the problems of some poorly performing NHS hospitals.

It says in its report that two of the United Kingdom’s largest providers of private inpatient care believe that the pressure on the NHS to make savings will mean a boost for the …

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