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Private healthcare spending by Welsh NHS up to £6m

The Welsh NHS has spent more than £6 million on private providers over the last two years.

According to BBC Wales, the Welsh health boards relied on private providers after facing issues in recruitment, long waiting lists and winter pressures.

Five out of six health boards paid for so-called ‘spot contracts’ which are short-term unplanned contracts awarded to private healthcare providers to carry out NHS work.

Marcus Longley, director at the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care questioned the decision to pay the private sector.

"In Wales the policy is to do everything in-house within the health service whenever possible” he said.

"The difficulty is that if you go to the private sector in January wanting lots of operations done by March you'll pay through the nose for that."

The Hywel Dda health board, which spent six times more than any other board, said difficulties with recruitment had led it to use external providers, although it said it will continue to review this.

Figures show that Hywel Dda health board spent £3,676,211 on private providers between April 2013 and March 2015.

In a statement the board said: "The decision to allocate additional funding was in recognition of the importance of ensuring our patients received planned treatment, such as hip or knee replacements, when demand for emergency services was significant.

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Posted on: 06/07/2015

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