Skip to main content

Defence Medical Services: Private Sector

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on employing private contractors in defence medical services in each of the last five years. (314176)

The vast majority of health care for service personnel is provided by the Defence Medical Services or the NHS. However, there will be times when it is necessary to employ private medical contractors, such as when a particular specialism is not readily available, or when it would be impractical to provide the service overseas using internal resources. For example, aspects of health care for personnel posted overseas to Germany and other smaller bases and detachments.

In practice, such private sector health provision is funded by a number of individual budgets across the MOD, including at local unit level within the single services. This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

However, we have a breakdown of costs from the MOD centre budget and British Forces Germany which indicates the sums involved for the health services they have contracted. This information is provided in the following tables.

MOD centre budget

Financial year

Expenditure (£)

2005-06

5,802,167

2006-07

4,892,840

2007-08

6,561,094

2008-09

7,830,192

2009-10 (to end January 2010)

3,744,016

These figures include specialist services where appropriate NHS provision is not available, including prosthetics and neurological services, and civilian locums for operational deployments. Prior to 2009-10, they included contract costs for the provision of in-patient mental health provision; this service is now provided through contract with NHS providers.

British Forces Germany

Financial year

Expenditure (£)

2005-06

43,790,000

2006-07

43,720,000

2007-08

45,450,000

2008-09

51,283,000

2009-10 (to April 2009)

39,016,000

These figures include secondary health care contracts with German hospitals; non-contracted extra-contractual costs for specialist care; primary care contract costs with SSAFA Forces Help and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (i.e. not all private contractor provided); non-contracted primary care costs; and costs related to Isolated Detachments in European Theatre.