Independent sector treatment centres carrying out NHS care are not seeing as many patients as they have been contracted to treat, according to figures published by the Department of Health.

They show that just four of the 25 ISTCs in operation are doing enough work and some are only carrying out 50 per cent of the work they were contracted to do, despite being paid for the total contact.

DH figures to the end of September show that just four centres were operating at 100 per cent of the value of their contract. On average, 84 per cent of the value of the 25 contracts - worth over£1.2bn in total - were being fulfilled.