What makes for a successful PPU?

Working with NHS Trusts to maximise the win-win-win benefits to patients, consultants, insurers and other stakeholders through the development of private patients is something we are passionate about. Housden Group has now worked with over 20 Trusts across the NHS to deliver financial and non-financial benefits from private patient services growth.

With only a week to go before the annual NHS Private Patient Service Development event being held on Tuesday 19th March 2019, at Royal Derby Hospital, Derby it seems a good time to share some of our experience about what makes for a successful PPU.

We have identified seven key areas for action for Trusts that together make up the ingredients for success. We call this our PP Audit Tool – and each day this week we are going to go pick out some examples of good practice from that list, and we start with #7, Commercial Focus.

Trusts require a range of commercial activities and know-how to engage with private medical insurers and the market. Insurers are keen to support the growth of Trust private patient capacity as this extends choice and competition. But to facilitate this support, Trusts will need to offer competitive prices to insurers and increasingly work to insurer codes and procedure package prices. Tariffs need to be reviewed against local and national benchmarks, often difficult to achieve without external support, and also developed to ensure full recovery of costs and meeting at least the NHS Tariff levels.

To stimulate the affordable self-pay market, Trusts should consider working closely with consultants to understand how to deliver combined prices that work for both the specialists and the hospital. It is likely that chasing volume for low complexity activity is unlikely to be where the gaps in the local market are, with lower volume higher acuity procedures where the local private hospitals are less able to compete. In this way the commercial focus is on growing the market rather than cannibalising it for consultants – this is much more attractive for them – and they are the key customers.

You can find more details about this year’s conference with this link: