NHS use of private sector hospitals during COVID-19: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

In reference to this parliamentary answer, please could I request the following information about the Scottish Government’s national use of private sector hospitals during the pandemic. I accept that NHS boards procure some activity independently but I am only interested in the national programme overseen by the Scottish government.

Please could you provide me with:
1. A breakdown of the total activity at private hospitals on behalf of the NHS, including outpatient appointments and procedures. For procedures, please provide a breakdown of what these were.

2. Please could you provide a breakdown of activity by each private hospital involved in the initiative.

3. Please could you provide a breakdown of the activity by each health board involved in the initiative.

Please could you provide the total cost of these procedures, broken down by each private health company.


Details of the total activity undertaken at private hospitals on behalf of NHS Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic to the end of September 2020 is set out in the tables below. Outpatients is presented in Table 1, surgical procedures in Table 2 and Radiology procedures in Table 3. A breakdown of surgical procedures by speciality type is presented in Table 4 and Radiology procedures by modality in Table 5. The breakdown of this information by Private Hospital and NHS Board can also be found in Tables 1, 2 and 3 for outpatients and surgical procedures and Radiology procedures respectively. 

You will wish to note that some of the details you have requested consist of very low numbers. In these circumstances and in light of the risk of identification of the individuals concerned, an exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies as disclosing these details would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing these details. The following tables have been adjusted to remove these details.

In answer to the fourth point of your query, please find in Table 6 a breakdown of the total costs of procedures conducted on behalf of NHS Scotland at private health companies facilities in fulfilment of the of the national programme.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

FOI202000089703 - Annex A


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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