COMMERCIAL: The Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust predicts a tougher market for private patients over the coming years.

The specialist heart and lung trust’s annual plan review said: “The potential raising of the ‘cap’ on foundation trusts’ private patient activity as a percentage of total clinical income to 49 per cent could lead to some financial protection against increasing NHS tariff/volume uncertainty.

“However maintaining sensible pricing positions while increasing volumes of activity is unlikely to be achieved on a ‘more of the same’ basis, especially with some insurers‟ aggressive moves against consultant fee levels and plan coverages.

“Embassy and overseas patient flows may become contingent on more specialist activities and services we have yet to develop, such as training programmes for overseas medics and nurses. We consequently need to formulate a new strategy for our private patients’ business to address these issues.”