Select Committee on Health Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Appendix II

Details of BUPA's Survey of NHS Commissioners


  1.1  Initially, 86 letters were sent to key contacts within those Trusts and RHAs who place the largest numbers of patients with BUPA Hospitals. An independent research company completed 23 interviews.


  2.1  The initial decision to place work with the private sector is almost universally driven by the need to reduce waiting lists. Proximity to the relevant NHS Trust appears to be important.

  2.2  BUPA Hospitals is seen as providing a key service to the NHS at the present time and the vast majority of NHS commissioners anticipate a long-term relationship between the two parties.

  2.3  NHS Trusts and Health Authorities are clearly happy with the service provided by BUPA Hospitals, with two thirds (65 per cent) rating the service "Very Good" or Excellent". Areas receiving most praise focus upon the staff within BUPA Hospitals and in particular:

    —  the quality of care provided to patients

    —  the helpfulness of the staff and the way in which the efficiency of the process has eased pressure on individuals and their organisations

    —  the degree of flexibility shown by staff within individual hospitals in dealing with Trusts/HAs in terms of fees, procedures and services offered.

  2.4  In addition to the fact that NHS Trusts and Health Authorities are positive about BUPA Hospitals' overall service, the majority also feel that:

    —  the relationship they have with BUPA Hospitals is having a positive impact on their waiting lists (87 per cent "Agree")

    —  their patients receive high quality care when they are treated in a BUPA hospital (74 per cent "Agree")

    —  working with BUPA Hospitals has made their job easier (65 per cent "Agree")

    —  BUPA Hospitals provides an invaluable service to their NHA Trust or Health Authority (61 per cent "Agree")

  Ultimately, the majority (74 per cent) feel that BUPA Hospitals provides at least "Good" value for money.

  2.5.  It is clear that many see a long-term relationship with BUPA, with four out of five (82 per cent) saying they are likely to continue to place work with BUPA Hospitals in the future. Indeed, 52 per cent believe the number of patients they send to BUPA Hospitals will increase in the future.

  2.6.  Where this relationship works best is where BUPA Hospitals is seen less as a provider of services on a piecemeal basis and more of a partner, where both parties jointly pool their expertise to the ultimate benefit of the patient.

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