The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) has launched a new animation and leaflet to help patients navigate private healthcare and set out what options are available to them.

The IHPN is the representative body for providers of a diverse range of services, including hospitals, primary care, community care, healthcare provided in patients' homes, and diagnostics. Research the IHPN had commissioned found that many patients were unsure how to access or pay for private healthcare.

  • More than one in three members of the public didn't know it's possible to "mix and match" private and NHS healthcare - for example paying privately for a scan and then having an operation through the NHS).
  • Two in two in five people didn't know you can talk to your GP about accessing private healthcare.

These findings, coupled with a poll that showed around half of people would consider private healthcare if they needed treatment, prompted the IHPN to develop materials that would help patients understand how they can access private healthcare.

How patients helped develop the information

The Patients Association brought together a group of ten patients who either had experience of using private healthcare, or were thinking about using private healthcare or a mixture of private and NHS services. The group worked on developing content for the animation and for the leaflet. The goal was to create information that would result in patients being:

  • Having information about all healthcare options that are available to them
  • More involved with decisions about their care
  • Able to more effectively navigate complex referral process.

The group has had an opportunity to review and suggest changes to the animation and leaflet all the way through the production process.

Visit our YouTube channel to watch the video

Read the accompanying leaflet too. It has links to other resources that patients considering private healthcare might find useful.

Please take this short survey to let us know how useful you found the animation and leaflet

Couldn’t find what you were looking for? Our team might be able to help - details of how to contact them below.

Contact the Patients Association

The Patients Association offers a free national helpline providing specialist information and advice to help patients make sense of their health and social care.  

The helpline is open from 9.30 am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and calls outside these times are returned as soon as possible during opening hours. If you would like to contact the helpline, please call free on 0800 345 7115, or visit the Patients Association helpline page on our website for other ways to get in touch with our advisers. 

This information was posted on 28th March 2022 and will be reviewed again in September 2024