Independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) provide services to NHS patients but are owned and run by organisations outside the NHS. This briefing paper explains why ISTCs were introduced, and how they are funded, staffed and regulated. It assesses their impact so far, including the quality of their services and whether they provide good value for money. Finally, it examines what their future may be now that the contracts ISTC providers hold with the Department of Health are beginning to expire.
No. of pages: 10