COVID-19: working in private practice

Read our overview of how the pandemic is affecting private practice and access some resources to help you tackle any issues.

Location: England
Audience: GPs
Last reviewed: 17 May 2021
COVID virus illustration

Working in partnership

NHS England and NHS Improvement, in collaboration with the IHPN (Independent Healthcare Providers Network), have reached a national agreement with IS (independent sector) healthcare providers to secure all available inpatient capacity and resource in every area in England. 

This covers all the inpatient facilities and the existing staff working for the providers.

This local agreement means that IS providers deliver a mix of five main services for NHS patients:

  1. inpatient respiratory care to COVID-19 patients needing oxygen therapy, NIV (non-invasive ventilation) and mechanical ventilation in intensive care
  2. urgent, time-dependent NHS elective care services, to maintain priority elective and cancer pathways as the pressure builds from COVID-related admissions
  3. diagnostic capacity, in collaboration with the NHS, to maintain urgent priority elective and cancer pathways
  4. inpatient non-elective care to NHS patients to help free up bed capacity in NHS hospitals. These beds should not be used for patients who are medically fit for discharge
  5. making clinical and support staff available who could if needed be redeployed to support care in other settings.

Below is a list of independent sector provider organisations that are signatories to the national agreement.

If you work for any of these organisations you may be asked to deliver care to COVID-19 patients.

Independent sector provider organisations
  • Aspen Healthcare Ltd
  • Benenden
  • Care UK Clinical Services
  • Circle Health Holdings Limited
  • Circle and BMI
  • Epsomedical Ltd
  • Fairfield Independent Hospital
  • Fortius
  • HCA International Limited
  • Healthcare Management Trust
  • Horder Healthcare
  • Hospital of St John and Elizabeth
  • KIMS Hospital Ltd
  • King Edward VII Hospital
  • Medical Services International Limited (BUPA Cromwell)
  • Nuffield Health
  • One Healthcare Partners Ltd
  • One Stop Doctors
  • Phoenix Hospitals
  • Ramsay Health Care UK Operations Limited
  • Schoen Clinic London LTD
  • Spencer Private Hospitals Ltd
  • Spire Healthcare Limited
  • The London Clinic
  • The New Victoria Hospital
  • The Wellbeck Hospital
  • Transform Hospital Group Limited.

What this means for you

You may have concerns about your elective private patients now the independent sector is contracted to provide NHS services to the COVID-19 response. You should speak with your employer to find out about their policy for accepting elective private patients whilst these new arrangements are in place.

If you want to know how the new arrangements will affect your existing contractual terms and conditions, please contact your hospital director or chief executive.


If you are a private practice doctor operating as a business

Guidance from the government provides advice for employers and businesses in England to follow to protect their workforce and customers, whilst continuing to trade. It may be updated in line with the changing situation.

It includes information about: social distancing, hygiene, cleanliness, staff sickness advice and staying at home.


Getting financial support

The government has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The Independent Practitioner Today also has information on its website to help support your business, see our resource list below for more information.


Contact us

If you have any feedback or questions please email [email protected].

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