One of the largest private providers of NHS care has written down £70m in assets amidst a “challenging” trading environment.

Ramsay Health Care UK last week issued a statement saying that after a review of the value of its assets it was writing down the value of six sites by £70m.

These are: Berkshire Independent Hospital, Ashtead Hospital in Surrey, Mount Stuart Hospital in Devon, Croydon Day Hospital in south London, Renacres Hospital in Lancashire and Clifton Park Hospital in York. The company’s statement said £60m of the £70m total related to the sites in Berkshire and Surrey.

Of all the private providers delivering publicly-funded work, Australian-owned Ramsay is most dependent on NHS outsourcing and the choose-and-book system. Half-year results released to the Australian stock exchange at the end of February showed revenue down 4.8 per cent to £206m.

Managing director Craig McNally said although the NHS tariff increase in April had helped the business, “demand management strategies are having a significant negative impact on volumes despite the significant and increasing number of people in the UK awaiting treatment.

“While the funding boost for the NHS announced this week by the UK Prime Minister is a positive step, we do not anticipate immediate benefits for us and expect operating conditions in the UK to remain challenging in the medium term.”

He added: “In the meantime, we continue to focus on operational efficiency improvements in our UK business, which have included a restructure in recent months, as well as focusing our efforts on building our non-NHS business.

“At the same time, we are implementing a range of cost management and procurement strategies which will ensure we remain a leader in cost effective healthcare delivery in all the markets in which we operate.”

He added that the company remained “committed to growth through acquisition”.