Private Acute Healthcare UK Market Report


LaingBuisson’s new in-depth study into the UK’s private acute healthcare market. Fifth edition. Published 5 June 2018. (250pp)


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“As average NHS waits have increased, and treatment restrictions on the NHS have been used more vigorously in recent times, there has been wider interest in private acute medical care from self-payers. Private self-paying spending increased by 9.1% in real terms in 2016… The sector continues to attract interest from notable new entrants, many from overseas, which have fresh business models and healthcare delivery practices which may be expected to have an impact on the UK market.

Philip Blackburn
– Report author


Slower growth for independent hospitals buoyed by a strong self-pay market

The private acute medical care hospitals and clinics market (the independent sector + NHS private patient services) was worth an estimated £5.78 billion in 2017.

Mixed market conditions were highlighted as real growth slowed from 4.2% in 2015 to just 2.5% in real terms during 2016 – and the market experienced a contraction in real terms, growing by just 0.6% in 2017. While NHS demand for services flattened, embassies in the Gulf States/Middle East reduced their overseas spending, and medical cover payouts were softer, there remains a strong self-pay demand as a larger number of customers have been willing to pay for private acute medical care.

The report focuses on the challenges and opportunities that current and future demand trends define for sector providers at a time when some trends have recently shifted significantly. Acute medical care providers are now evolving strategies to anticipate future demand behaviour, and LaingBuisson’s report provides valuable insight and analysis to support this. The next 12 to 18 months will shed more light on the direction of NHS demand, as NHS providers spend additional (Autumn Budget) funding to clear NHS waiting lists, and NHS contracting arrangements continue to develop. Providers will also be looking for more favourable dynamics from overseas demand for private care, following a market check in recent times.

An underlying strength of the market remains strong interest in private healthcare from individuals looking to pay for quick and convenient diagnosis and treatment. High NHS waits and the scope for development of private healthcare are expected to support continued strong growth in this area. And as this report highlights there are several significant new entrants from overseas and domestically which are bringing new capacity and delivery concepts into the private market which highlights optimism of future growth, and UK incumbents are busy developing new service propositions to accommodate a more comprehensive patient pathway within private healthcare.

Another central theme within the report is the increased focus on quality of services and patient outcomes within the healthcare sector.



What the report includes

  • Acute medical services provided by the independent sector
  • Provision of private acute medical services by NHS Private Patient Units (PPUs)
  • Fertility treatment, pregnancy termination and screening services provided by independent operators
  • Private activity of specialists (consultant surgeons)
  • Market
  • Definition
  • Size
  • Funding
  • Supply and Demand
  • PMI
  • NHS Purchasing
  • Self-pay
  • Government Policy and Regulation
  • Provider Profiles
  • Investors
  • Market Potential
  • Appendices
    Key Legislation
    Trade Bodies
    List of PPUs with overnight beds

    CMA investigation conclusions
    Financial Appendix


Who is the report for

  • Hospital & Clinic C-suite Professionals
  • Specialist Acute Medical Care Providers
  • Private Medical Insurance Groups
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • NHS Foundation Trusts
  • Investors
  • Banks
  • Private Equity
  • Architects
  • Property Developers & Consultants
  • Central & Local Government
  • Think Tanks
  • Lawyers
  • Management Consultants


What You Get

      • Print package – Single-user Printed Hard Copy
      • Digital package – Multi-user Digital PDF and Data in Excel + Printed Hard Copy


LaingBuisson is the chosen provider of independent sector healthcare market data to the UK government’s Office for National Statistics.

Additional information

Report Format

Multi-user Digital PDF + Printed Hard Copy, Single-user Printed Hard Copy