Archive of LCA News Stories


BUPA Insurance Purchases the Cromwell Hospital
- March 2008

Last year, BUPA insurance divested itself of all its hospitals, which have now changed their name to Spire Health. Spire has now altered its strategy considerably, having come out from under the BUPA umbrella. However, BUPA has just announced that it would be purchasing the Cromwell Hospital, and you may see this announcement by clicking here...

The LCA Board will be considering this matter and the implications that it has for consultants, and will be writing to London-based consultants with their view in due course. The obvious concerns are that BUPA Insurance could use this hospital to promote its agenda of directed care although we understand that BUPA have assured consultants that there is to be no change in current policy.


BUPA and PPP Networks for Ophthalmology
April 2007
- Updated July 2007

The attempt by BUPA Insurance to impose a national network for ophthalmology has stalled. The vast majority of UK ophthalmologists have rejected the BUPA tender. The overall situation is quite unclear as BUPA strategy is constantly changing. Patients may have been affected and there is some evidence that there is redirection of patients at pre-authorisation. In view of the rejection by almost all London based ophthalmologists and the London independent hospitals it seems unlikely that BUPA will be unable to enforce its network in London.

PPP are now preparing to launch some form of network arrangement for ophthalmology and details will emerge in the coming months. For more detailed information please visit the FIPO web site..


BUPA Insurance New “Initiatives”
March 2006

BUPA Insurance has announced a number of Initiatives, which will involve tendering for clinical services, and this aspect of their plan has begun with a MRI tender. Certain London based hospitals have been excluded from this tender. The situation here is now fluid and it is the hope of the LCA that these matters can be resolved as patients may well be inconvenienced.

The Healthcare Commission Rules of Inspection of Private Consulting Rooms
March 2006

Many consultants have had their problems during the inspection of their private consulting rooms by the Healthcare Commission. The LCA, along with others, has protested about these somewhat over-rigorous inspections. A consultation group with the Healthcare Commission has been set up and the LCA sits on that body. There are now some changes to the inspection process, which will benefit all consultants, in particular those with a NHS appointment. LCA Members please log in to read more.



Market Changes and Economic Review
The current economic review of the independent market has been prepared by the LCA and a full report has been circulated to members. For a headline summary please click here...
- February 2005


Consultant Appraisal in the Private Sector
The LCA announced a system of consultant appraisal at the general meeting on 5 October 2004. There have been some delays in implementing the system due to factors beyond the LCA control but we are now in a position to offer a formal appraisal to LCA members... read on...

Additionality... the rule imposed by the government that prevents consultants with an NHS commitment from working in an ISTC. Consultants have to have been out of the NHS for 6 months before they can be considered and NHS locums are also excluded. However, they may be some flexibility for locum NHS consultants. More information is available for subscribing members and this can be found in the members' private area
- August 2004

London in the changing healthcare market
The winds of change in private healthcare, whilst blowing more actively around the country, are beginning to affect London practice. The moves by some hospital providers (Capio, Nuffield and BUPA Insurance) to go downmarket in an attempt to gain cheap NHS or other contracts has so far not affected London... read on
- July 2004

Demise of the Independent Healthcare Association (IHA)
The IHA, which acted as the voice of the independent acute hospitals, has disbanded after Nuffield Hospitals and GHG (BMI Hospitals) announced they were resigning their membership towards the end of last year, though for markedly different reasons... read on
- January 2004

Fees for Medical Specialists: How does the UK Compare
This report from NERA (National Economic Research Associates), jointly sponsored by Norwich Union Healthcare and the Financial Times, prompted headlines such as “Britons pay top fees for private surgery” (The Times, 30 Dec 2003) and “Fees for surgeons in NHS ‘are highest’” (Financial Times, 29 Dec 2003)... more
- January 2004


Consultant Questionnaire 2003
Many of you kindly completed and returned a questionnaire organised by FIPO. Particular trends can be identified in the different areas focused upon. For instance, the majority of consultants are noticing the impact of rises in Medical Indemnity Insurance on their overall practice expenses. Also nearly three quarters of consultants considering some form of group practice arrangement.

In order to move this forward, FIPO commissioned MORI to undertake an independent poll of consultants along similar themes. This poll was completed in March 2004, for further details of the accompanying press release and further analysis of the results please click here

Diagnostic and Treatment Centres (DTCs)
major conference held by FIPO on 7th October 2003 to discuss Diagnostic and Treatment Centres and their impact on the NHS, the independent sector and the profession... click here
- Oct 2003

QBE Health and independent doctors
An LCA member working entirely in the independent sector appealed to the LCA because QBE Health, a medical insurance company, had decided that any doctor working outside of the NHS would no longer be recognised by the company... click here
- June 2003


NHS Consultant contract proposals
Many members of the LCA have asked for advice regarding the discussions and vote on the new NHS consultant contract... click here
- August 2002

Relative Values Review and the Office of Fair Trading - Update from FIPO
The Relative Value Review (RVR) was instigated by several major private medical insurance companies, with the help of members of the profession, some time ago... click here
- August 2002

Healthcode and Electronic billing – Update 2002
Healthcode is the company owned by several of the major insurers and hospital groups providing electronic billing facilities for private hospitals and consultants... click here
- August 2002

OFT Inquiry into Medical "Chambers & Partnerships"
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has received a complaint from an unknown source that certain anaesthetic groups around the country are allegedly setting fees for their services in breach of the Competition Act... click here
- April 2002


Care Standards Act
LCA's intent to comment on the consultation process in the Care Standards Act regulatory proposals... click here
- August 2001

London Heart Hospital
LCA discussion on the purchase of the hospital by the NHS... click here
- August 2001

Laing and Buisson Report on PMI
Several newspapers picked up on the annual market report on PMI from Laing and Buisson which shows some very interesting trends... click here
- June 2001

Community Hospitals Group bought by CAPIO AB
Community Hospitals Group which owns 21 private acute hospitals in the UK, has been the subject of much interest... click here
- June 2001

The British Association of Otorhinolaryngologists
Head and Neck surgeons devoted a whole day to the issues of private practice at the Royal Society of Medicine in London... click here
- May 2001

Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations
News on FIPO, outlines the proposal to form one large unifying body to represent all doctors who work in the private sector... read on
- February 2001

NHS Consultant Contract
The details of the new NHS consultant contact are currently still unclear. What is clear is the proposed ban for new consultants to engage in private practice... read on
- February 2001

The Relative Value Review (RVR) and Electronic Billing
After a great deal of preamble and work the Relative Value Review has been made public. This is discussed along with a further manifestation of increasing controls over the medical profession, which comes from the introduction of electronic billing... read on
- February 2001

Competition Commission Inquiry
LCA report on the Competition Commission inquiry into the BUPA Insurance purchase of the Community Hospitals Group... read on
- January 2001


PPP, Out Patient Consultations
The "discussions" with PPP regarding patient reimbursement for follow up surgical post-operative consultation goes round in circles... read on

PPP, pseudo-partnership agreements - what is "usual and customary"? Several consultants have received a document from PPP that they have been asked to sign. This requires them to agree to a level of fees which PPP call "usual and customary"... read on

Code of Practice
LCA closely involved in the production of an agreed form of Code of Practice which might solve the many daily disputes that affect all consultants, insurers and patients... read on

Pre-authorisation Survey
Further evidence on this has been obtained by a GP survey commissioned by the Hospital Management Trust, which shows that a substantial number of GP's have had interference with their referrals by the insurers... read on

Hospital Preferred Providers
Evidence of the crippling effect of the hospital preferred provider system comes from the Times Business News... read on
- December 4 2000

Radiology and Pathology News
It has become evident that colleagues in the so-called "service" specialities of radiology and pathology are often having difficulties with the private hospitals in which they practice... read on

Quality & Regulation in the Private Sector
LCA report on The Health Select committee report on regulation, to which we submitted evidence... read on
- March 2000

Extracts from the LCA Newsletter
Some topical issues from issue 2 of our newsletter to consultants and associate members... read on
- March 2000

LCA comment on the BUPA Insurance Roadshow
billed to consultants as "Implementation of the Relative Values Review and Clinical Governance and the Private Sector"... read on
- March 2000

Extracts from the LCA Newsletter
Some topical issues from the first issue of our newsletter to consultants and associate members... read on
- June 1999

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