Enquiries about private healthcare have reached record levels with pent-up demand for operations following the pandemic, one of Britain’s biggest private hospital operators has said.
Spire Healthcare gave over its 39 private hospitals for the NHS to use for non-Covid treatments during the virus crisis, with government covering the firm’s costs. That meant Spire stopped private operations for much of the second quarter of the six months to June 30.
That hit Spire’s first-half income by around £30 million.
Although the company is still working with the NHS until at least the end of the year, it has restarted some private work.
Justin Ash, chief executive of Spire Healthcare, which does heart surgeries, and hip and knee operations, said: “We currently have record enquiries from people wanting to pay for private treatment. People are prioritising their health more, and because there was a pause in treatments for some people during the pandemic, there is real pent-up demand.”
The group expects second half profits to return to levels seen a year earlier, and anticipates trading will get back to pre-Covid levels in 2021.