The number of privately insured patients undergoing treatment has increased by 13% in the five years up to 1998, a new report on trends in acute hospitals reveals.

Private hospitals carried out 14% of planned operations in England and Wales last year.

There were 828,000 admissions to private hospitals in 1997-1998 including those funded by private health insurance, self-paying private patients, and those referred from the NHS. Private money paid for one in four hip replacements, 20% of coronary bypasses and 40% of cosmetic operations.

Professor Brian Williams of Nottingham University unveiled his report at the 1999 Acute Care Conference in London this week.

Much of the report detailed the two-way traffic between private and public health sectors.

The number of private patients treated in Trust hospital pay beds has risen to about 100,000.