The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

Efficient healthcare delivered by the NHS in partnershi­p with the private sector


SIR – On April 25 I had an eye test at a high-street clinic and it was decided that I needed a cataract operation. I was referred by the NHS to a private provider, and after an initial assessment I had the operation on May 25. (It would have been 10 days earlier but I had to decline the initial appointmen­t due to a prior commitment.)

The process was carefully engineered and the care was excellent. I was in and out of the clinic in about two hours, and most of that time was spent waiting for eye drops to work. The operation itself took five minutes.

Parts of the NHS are working well with the assistance of the private sector. This approach needs to be more widely used.

Jenny Furness Doncaster, South Yorkshire

SIR – I worked for more than 20 years as a secretary in a GP practice. While many patients were seen and treated by private providers, considerat­ion did need to be given to the limitation­s of such referrals.

There were many restrictio­ns, particular­ly with regard to pre-existing conditions, which affected whether the private provider would accept the referral or not. I would like to think these issues have been addressed, but I am not confident.

Additional­ly, if private providers are now prepared to see suspected cancer patients (report, May 24), there needs to be certainty that after diagnosis the patient can be treated within the private sector and not bounced back to the NHS.

Julie Cutts Iver, Buckingham­shire

SIR – I read with interest the news that more choice will be offered through the NHS app (report, May 25).

However, since a cancer diagnosis last autumn, I have had various scans, blood tests and a number of operations, but none of them show up on my app. To date the only informatio­n I have received is discharge letters, of which I have already been given hard copies.

Robert Ramsay Lewes, East Sussex

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