Our latest blog is written by Dr Ray Stanbridge, founding partner of Stanbridge Associates, a specialist accountancy and tax advisory practice for medical consultants and private hospitals. Dr Stanbridge sits on the Healthcare Property Group Board as a non-executive director.
The theme at a recent healthcare conference for accountants, which I attended in the United States, was ‘Less Beds’. There is huge pressure in the US for patients to spend less time in hospitals and more time at home recovering, or at dedicated rehabilitation centres.
Obviously this trend will eventually travel across the pond to us, and we can expect some major changes in the next few years. Large hospitals with beds may become a thing of the past. We will be looking at new specialist stay case units, development of home nursing facilities and a development in the number of relevant rehabilitation centres, possibly owned by hospitals.
This scenario will obviously create opportunities for some entrepreneurial consultants in hospitals, developers of small day case units and rehabilitation facilities owners. Those who seek to maintain the status quo and do nothing may well find their bed occupancy reducing, and may also feel pressure from insurers and others to direct patients elsewhere.
The shape of healthcare facilities may well be very different in ten years’ time than what they are today.