The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), recently published a report on what it is like to work in the independent healthcare sector, which has a vital role in delivering high quality care to both NHS and private sector patients. The findings were based on extensive research including surveys and staff focus groups.

Three key themes stand out among the research findings; career, control and culture. These themes came up time and again and highlight how staff working in the independent sector report are able to access professional development initiatives; work more flexibly and maintain a healthy work-life balance; and work in an inclusive and supportive workplace culture. Most importantly, staff felt they had the time to care for their patients and deliver the outcomes that matter most to them.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, medical teams from both the NHS and the independent sector have been working side by side to enable the delivery of vital NHS treatment. Almost 2 million NHS operations, tests, chemotherapy sessions and consultations have been delivered in independent hospitals since March, while independent diagnostics providers were also made available to the NHS during the pandemic.

With the NHS still under intense pressure and the need to treat the growing numbers of patients waiting for care, the independent sector sees joint working with the NHS as something that will need to continue. The sector has also played a role in supporting the development of NHS staff, with an announcement in autumn this year that NHS junior doctors will now be able to benefit from new training opportunities in the independent sector.

Independent Healthcare Providers deliver care to over 10 million NHS patients every year – in addition to the over 750,000 private patients journeys every year in independent hospitals.

With the launch of this new report, which highlights the experiences of those working in the independent healthcare sector, the IHPN is hoping to encourage healthcare workers at all stages of their career to consider the independent sector, where they can develop their career, have control over their work, and enjoy an inclusive compassionate working culture.

The report can be downloaded here:

https://www.ihpn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Working-in-the-independent-health-sector.pdf