Private hospitals are performing a growing number of operations on NHS patients. It is still under 5% of all the surgery in the NHS but private companies are gaining a strong foothold.
17% of hip replacements (11,500 operations),
17% of hernia repairs (9,000)
6% of gall bladder removals (3,000) annually in England.
Their share of NHS patients grew rapidly between 2006-07 and 2010-11 after the introduction of patient choice.
By 2010-11 private providers also handled 8% of patients' first attendances in relation to orthopaedics or trauma, such as a broken limb; 4.8% of gastroenterological problems; and 2.3% of attendances for sight problems.