Former senior executive at Priory Group UK No1 Ltd
- Competitive landscape and key players’ dynamics analysis, such as Cygnet Health, Elysium and Voyage Care
- NHS (National Health Service) and local authority funding dynamics update and regulatory framework
- Outlook for market players, highlighting expansion potential and M&A dynamics
What key trends are occurring in the UK mental health market, including any pandemic-related impacts?
Can you elaborate on the service provisioning and if you’re seeing a special demand for a specific type of service because of the pandemic? Would you quantify it by patient population, amount of funds into a specific service or something else?
How should we assess the 4-5% YoY growth considering what you mentioned about patient groups being put on hold, and therefore a limited amount of services being provided to the public? Was there more backlog, hence why we’re seeing this growth? Do you think this growth will be sustainable for the next 3-5 years?
What can be done to offset the burden? How might private providers react? Are there any efficient countermeasures? I understand it is different, of course, considering the chronic lack of funding.
Can you elaborate on your suggestion of private sector opening more beds? Which of the major market players is best-suited to do so? Who is most capable and able to react quicker?
The pandemic exacerbated patient volumes and we saw a strong increase in people seeking help, especially given a greater knowledge, advertisements on social media and accessible mental health services. How should we think about 2022 patient volumes and how could this evolve in the next 2-3 years?
How should we think about the inpatient-outpatient split? If pricing is per bed per day in speciality services, do you see a shift in players trying to have more acute cases and increasing in the number of days per patient?
It seems big players in the industry, such as Priory, had a major reliance on NHS [National Health Service] contracts or patients – roughly 80% or 85-90%, depending on the player. How should we assess the patient split in terms of categories or across PMI [private medical insurance], self-funded and NHS?
Online therapy is interesting and we’ve seen telehealth players in the UK expanding into the mental health and service provisioning, plus free consultations through the NHS, and increasingly more contracts. What’s your assessment of telehealth pure players in the UK such as Babylon, who are approaching the mental health market?
How do you think profitability varies across inpatient and outpatient services?
How should we think about the ease-up on funding? Is it impacting facilitated tendering processes or other factors that can help sustain the margins for private providers?
Can you elaborate on labour shortages intensifying and potential wage inflation, whether for nurses or other functions?
Do you expect regulation to change given everything we’ve seen around lack of nurses, rising prices and the desperate need for services and beds? You mentioned nurses needing to have a certain qualification. What’s the current situation here and do you think it will change in the next 2-3 years?
Other industry segments such as care homes and home care also have nurse or staff shortages, but have imported talent from outside of the UK to help alleviate the issue. Do you think players in the mental health sectors, such as Priory, can do the same or are there limitations and regulations around experience and qualifications?
Which player has the strongest recruitment retention? Do you think there is any differentiation across larger and smaller players?
What can Elysium and other larger players do to better retain and attract staff?
Is any service less exposed to the labour shortage? Are nurses more attracted to certain segments or is it largely equal across the whole service offering?
What has changed or reverted to normal after coronavirus in terms of the NHS tendering process or pricing?
Which providers are best-placed to win the tenders in terms of large vs smaller players? Do you think the NHS tends to go to larger players because they offer a broader spectrum of services, or would a more niche provider normally be chosen?
What’s your assessment of the competitive landscape and the main differentiators among Priory, Elysium, Voyage Care and other players? Are we talking more of a pure service portfolio or do you think they mainly differ in terms of volume, quality and so on?
How should we think about market share split among Elysium, Cygnet, Priory and any other players?
What’s your growth outlook for the various market players? How might larger players expand? Elysium acquired Ramsay in February 2022, but would it make sense for players to invest in geographical expansion considering the lack of funding? Alternatively, do you think investing more in a digital type of partnership would be more logical?
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