NHS funding private healthcare for staff while patients face record waiting lists

Meanwhile, University Hospitals Plymouth spent £4,463 on private health insurance in the last year. The trust said the insurance was for administrative staff.

Asked on Wednesday afternoon which employees were given private health insurance, a spokesman said that the trust was unable to respond to questions over the bank holiday weekend.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust revealed that it had paid £125,000 to Physio Med, an occupational physiotherapy firm, since 2018, including £43,000 last year.

A case study on Physio Med’s website, describing its work for the trust, states: “With access to NHS physiotherapy via GP referral taking up to 14 weeks (National Survey, 2015), employees suffering from musculoskeletal disorders were often absent from work for extended periods or less productive at work while waiting to access treatment.

“As a result, the trust decided it needed to find a way to support its employees in equitable accessing quality physiotherapy treatment regardless of where they lived and much more quickly.”

Greig Baker, who chairs Baker Kell Cumming, said: “When the NHS pays for its own staff to get fast-tracked private care, the model is broken. The Government has introduced the new health and social care tax and the NHS is receiving more money than ever – but money isn’t the problem, the system is.”

A spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust said its staff were “working flat out” to tackle the backlog and “physiotherapy treatment means they can return to work more quickly … avoiding additional spend on costly agency and shift workers.”

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