NHS England has signed a three-month deal with 10 private healthcare groups, including Spire and Nuffield Health, to provide additional support as it deals with increasing staff absenteeism and the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
In a statement, Spire said it, along with other independent providers, would alleviate pressure on hospitals in England by treating NHS elective patients and providing urgent cancer work.
The Independent Healthcare Group said it would give NHS England “access to 100 per cent of its facilities and teams on a local, regional or national basis in the event of a resurgence of Covid-19 patients”.
The proliferation of the Omicron variant has put pressure on England’s NHS.
Last week, 17 hospitals across Manchester announced the cancellation of non-critical surgery.
The agreement with the private health care providers starts on Monday and will expire on 31 March.