Select Committee on Health Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary evidence by Mr John Fieldhouse, Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations (35A)

  At the Health Select Committee hearing on Thursday 6 December Members raised concerns in relation to instances reported by their constituents of Consultants seeking to promote their private practices during NHS consultations. In response I indicated that FIPO would consider such behaviour, if initiated by the Consultant, to be totally inappropriate. However in the further discussion it became evident that in some of the instances raised by Members the discussion had arisen as a result of an initial enquiry from the patient involved.

  I think that members of the Committee may not be aware that in many NHS hospitals, Trust management advertise private practice facilities in the outpatient and ward areas in order to promote and maximise income from their Private Patient Units. I enclose an example of such literature that is available throughout my own Trust hospital. It will be evident to Members that such literature may stimulate patients to discuss the availability of private care with Consultants who are expected to respond to such enquiries, although such discussions may then be misinterpreted or misrepresented. I would therefore submit that often the accusations made against Consultants arise as a result of circumstances which are not of their making but to which they are expected to respond.

  I hope that this information is of assistance to the Health Select Committee. May I thank you for the opportunity to give evidence and assure the Committee of the continued availability and willingness of FIPO to be of assistance in this and future enquiries.

11 December 2001

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 15 May 2002