Independent healthcare November activity data from Healthcode

Published: Wednesday, 16 December 2020 09:00

electronic billingHealthcode has released insured activity data for the independent health sector in November which shows the sector was operating at 99 per cent of 2019 activity levels. The latest figures indicate the recovery is back on track, following a dip in October when year-on-year activity levels fell to 88 per cent.

Healthcode, the official clearing organisation for private medical bills in the UK has been analysing its PMI billing data to track the progress of recovery across the sector from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In May the year-on-year activity level for the sector was just 29 per cent but the difference has narrowed over the last six months with most regions and specialties now close to or above their pre-pandemic levels.

Managing Director, Peter Connor, commented: “I’m pleased to see that activity levels within the independent healthcare sector have recovered so strongly over the last six months, following a steep fall after the first lockdown. It is a measure of their adaptability and commitment that services were back up and running so quickly and appeared largely unaffected by the second lockdown in November. Although it sounds like dry statistics, this data represents thousands of patients who were reassured or relieved of pain thanks to the expert care and treatment they received from private providers.”

Here are the headlines from November:

Countries and regions

  • Operating percentages compared with 2019 improved in all UK nations. England and Scotland recorded 99% of 2019 levels (compared with 88% for both in October); Northern Ireland achieved 90% (87% in October) and Wales reached 86% (69% in October).
  • Year-on-year activity levels in all English regions improved with all but one now at 90% or above the activity level for the same period in 2019 and the North East (88%) not far behind. In four regions activity actually exceeded that for November 2019: London (101% of 2019 activity, compared with 90% in October), the West Midlands (105% compared with 91%), the East Midlands (102% from 99% in September) and South East England (101% from 86% in October).

Top ten hospital specialties

  • All the top ten hospital specialties saw year-on-year activity increase in November and only physiotherapy was yet to break through the 90% benchmark.
  • Six specialties exceeded the activity level recorded in 2019: pathology/haematology (140%), radiology (129%), obstetrics and gynaecology (113%), general surgery (112%), gastroenterology (111%) and urology (103%).
  • Both Oncology (98%) and Orthopaedics and trauma (94%) saw a ten-point improvement on last month.

Care setting

  • Hospital activity in November was above 2019 levels (102% compared with 90% in October). Within hospital settings, outpatient activity was up to 105% of 2019 levels while admitted care was at 87%. This compares with 93% for outpatient care and 79% for admitted care last month.
  • The number of insured out-patients recorded in November was 103% of those treated during the same month of 2019, while the number of in-patients was 88% (the equivalent figures in October were 93% and 81% respectively).