Following a Freedom of Information request made by the British Medical Journal, it has been revealed that one third of NHS contracts have been awarded to private companies.
Of the 3,494 contracts awarded by 182 Clinical Commissioning Groups in England between April 2013 and August 2014, 33% were awarded to the private sector.
The government had declared the data as misleading.
The worth of these contracts is unclear as the CCGS refused to disclose this information, citing commercial sensitivities.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Official NHS accounts show that use of the private sector amounts to only six pence in every pound the NHS spends, slowing the rate of increase to just one penny since May 2010.
“Charities, social enterprises and other providers of healthcare play an important role in the NHS, as they have done for many years.”
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: “These figures blow apart Jeremy Hunt’s claim that ‘NHS privatisation isn’t happening’. It is happening and it is happening on his watch.
“The NHS of the future demands more integration. The problem with this Government’s policy is that it’s taking it in the opposite direction, towards more fragmentation.
“These figures show what is at stake at the coming election. David Cameron’s Government is stealthily hiving off NHS services without the permission of the public.”
These figures have caused an outcry amongst NHS campaigners, who feel the NHS should remain public and not private.