Private sector healthcare providers are set to become full members of the NHS Confederation as the NHS Partners Network joins the organisation, HSJ understands.

The NHS Partners Network, which has nine members, was set up last year to represent private sector healthcare providers.

Members of the NHS Confederation will vote to allow the NHS Partners Network to join as a member network at its annual general meeting on 20 June. It has three existing networks for primary care, mental health, and foundation trusts.

Private sector providers can currently join the confederation as affiliate members, but this move will allow them full membership.

'Welcome addition'

Confederation chief executive Dr Gill Morgan said: 'The organisations in the NHS Partners Network all play an important role in the care of patients and are a key part of the wider NHS family. We look forward to welcoming them.'

However, Dr Morgan said the confederation would also continue to work with all independent providers including the voluntary sector, primary and community providers and mental health providers.

NHS Partners Network chair Richard Jones said: 'Joining the confederation not only marks a coming of age for the independent sector, but an important transition for the NHS itself as it embraces the benefits for patients arising from a plurality of providers.

'We are proud of our partnership with the NHS. We are determined to see that partnership strengthen and succeed in the interests of NHS patients. By becoming part of the NHS Confederation, the NHS Partners Network will work closely with commissioners and providers across the service to achieve these aims.'

New arrivals

NHS Partners Network members include:

  • Alliance Medical
  • Amicus Healthcare (part of General Healthcare Group)
  • Bupa Hospitals
  • Capio Healthcare UK
  • Clinicenta
  • Mercury Health
  • Nations Healthcare
  • Netcare UK
  • Nuffield Hospitals
  • Partnership Health Group
  • UK Specialist Hospitals.