Documents released by NHS England after a long-running FOI battle with Good Law Project reveal that eight private sector providers were paid an eye-watering £1.69 billion by NHS England during the pandemic.
NHS England released the spend data covering April 2020 to March 2021, following an intervention from the ICO earlier this month.
The eight firms that received the money were Circle Health, Spire Healthcare Limited, Ramsey Health, Nuffield Health, HCA Healthcare UK, Care UK, Aspen Healthcare and Practice Plus.
At the start of the pandemic, the Government issued huge contracts to private hospitals to provide additional capacity, but research by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) discovered that the vast majority of beds reserved were never used.
Key findings revealed that, of an estimated 8,000 private beds made available, no more than 78 were used in any one day and private hospitals delivered only ‘0.08% of COVID care’ overall.
A joint investigation between The Guardian and Good Law Project previously revealed that, of these eight firms:
The full dataset can be downloaded here.
This is the second time this month that the ICO has sided with Good Law Project to order that crucial transparency data be published.
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