The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care recently informed NHS England about the use of private health providers in the event of a COVID surge. The deal reached with private health providers is hugely expensive. It will see private hospitals receive a guaranteed minimum income of between £75 million to £90 million a month. This is an up-front payment without anything being delivered. In the event that surge arrangements are necessary, this cost could increase up to £175 million a month.
After nearly two years of dealing with COVID-19, the Government should have a better plan in place. I challenged the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on why the Government has not been able to negotiate a better deal at a lower cost to the taxpayer. See my question and his response above. I have also pressed the Minister for Health on when these discussions with NHS England took place. You can watch my question and the Minister's response here.