The term “private practice”, as defined by the Department of Health (DH) in its January 2004 publication A Code of Conduct for Private Practice: Recommended Standards of Practice for NHS Consultants, covers:
“(a) the diagnosis or treatment of patients by private arrangement (including such diagnosis or treatment under s.65(2) of the National Health Service Act 1977), excluding fee paying services as described in Schedule 10 of the Terms and Conditions.
(b) work in the general medical, dental or ophthalmic services under Part II of the National Health Service Act 1977 (except in respect of patients for whom a hospital medical officer is allowed a limited “list”, eg members of the hospital staff.
The new consultant contract provides new definitions for private professional services and fee-paying services. Fee-paying Services and Private Professional Services
There are some specialities — such as accident and emergency, elderly care, the pathology specialities and general medicine — where consultants rarely earn a large private-practice income Who Carries Out Private Practice Work
Consultants who are employed for less than 11 programmed activities must now consider accepting an additional programmed activity before they agree to carry out any private practice. Spare Professional Capacity
Consultants are expected to provide information at their annual job-plan review relating to where and when they carry out private practice. Job Planning and Private Practice
Private commitments should not be scheduled for times when a consultant is on call for the NHS. On-call Duties and Private Practice
Consultants are asked not to initiate discussions with NHS patients about providing private sessions in the course of carrying out their NHS duties and responsibilities. Ethical Obligations: Providing Information for NHS Patients about Private
Consultants can consult with and treat patients in NHS facilities provided they have reached an explicit agreement with the NHS organisation and systems are in place to ensure payment is received for use of NHS facilities and staff. Private Patients and NHS Facilities
Services for NHS patients delivered in treatment centres will be funded by Primary Care Trusts, but staff working in independent treatment centres are likely to be employed on independent sector salaries, terms and conditions. Independent Sector Treatment Centres: Employment Matters