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English acute care trusts earned nearly £0.5bn from private patients in 2014-15

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 23 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5068
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

NHS hospital trusts in England earned almost £0.5bn (€0.7bn; $0.8bn) from treating private patients last year, a new analysis by The BMJ has found. But although the analysis found that the total amount of private income earned by hospital trusts in England has risen by around £50m in the past two years, it shows that this has remained broadly static as a proportion of trusts’ income from treating patients, at around 1.2%.

For the analysis The BMJ examined the annual accounts for 2014-15 of 129 foundation and non-foundation trusts. In total, these 129 trusts earned £498.9m from private patients in 2014-15, representing around 1.2% of their overall income from treating patients of £42.8bn.

This compared with a total of £474.1m from private patients in 2013-14 (also 1.2% of the total of £40.4bn) and £451.9m from private patients in 2012-13 (again 1.2% of the total of £38.5bn).

The static proportion of overall NHS income derived from private patients comes despite the Health and Social Care Act 2012 removing the previous cap that restricted most NHS foundation trusts from deriving …

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