Independent Healthcare Providers Network

Political research and reporting on the independent sector’s impact on the NHS.


Shortly after the NHS published its Long Term Plan in 2019, it celebrated its 70th birthday. To mark the occasion, the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), the representative body for independent providers to the NHS, commissioned Whitehouse to research and write two reports. The first one covered the of tendering in NHS procurement as the reduction of tendering had been outlined as a priority in the Long Term Plan. The second celebrated the ways in which the independent sector has and continues to support the NHS to reach the aims laid out in the Long Term Plan.

Our approach

For the first report on NHS tendering, Whitehouse issued an freedom of information (FOI) request to all 208 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England, asking them for qualitative and quantitative data on the prevalence of their tendering processes, which was stipulated in the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, but was being repealed in the NHS Long Term Plan. Whitehouse collated and analysed the data to produce a comprehensive report. For the second report, Whitehouse engaged with all of the members of IHPN, asking them for case studies on their work across healthtech, preventative healthcare, moving care into the community and more. Whitehouse was able to engage with a wide range of members to feed into a comprehensive report structured to complement the NHS Long Term Plan itself.

Whitehouse produced these reports to high standards in terms of both content and visuals. One report was published the day IHPN’s Chief Executive David Hare went before the Health and Social Care Select Committee, so he could discuss the news and recommendations coming from the report. The report received media coverage in the Financial Times. The second report was published on the 70th birthday of the NHS, to join in with the broader celebrations and use the salience to drive up the reach of the report.