Through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) has been charting the impact on private healthcare in the UK. PHIN is the independent, government-mandated source of information about private healthcare. The latest figures covering both self-pay and insured elective private healthcare show that private admissions have continued to recover following lockdown earlier in the year.
Following a steady recovery from June to July, when private activity was at almost 50% of activity in 2019, August has seen that recovery continue. In August there were more than 40,000 private admissions in the UK, which is more than two-thirds of the admissions in 2019.
While the admission numbers are still down on last year, looking at activity by consultant specialty, the make-up of the activity within the market seems to be returning to a similar pattern to earlier in the year, before the pandemic.
Recovery within the market has been chiefly driven by a few specialties – Trauma and Orthopaedics, General Surgery, and Ophthalmology. These have seen the largest recovery, with Ophthalmology more than doubling from July (2,300 admissions) to August (5,000 admissions). Trauma and Orthopaedics has seen the single largest increase in admissions, with 4,300 more admissions from July to August.