St Hugh’s Hospital’s support for the NHS in North East Lincolnshire and the wider region is featured in a new national report examining the historic partnership between the NHS and independent hospital sector during Covid-19.
One year ago this week, virtually all independent hospital capacity was made available to the NHS “at cost”, helping ensure vital NHS treatment could continue during the pandemic and that the health service had enough capacity to deal with any surges in the virus.
Since then, St Hugh’s has delivered more than 13,000 NHS procedures, including over 8,000 outpatient appointments and 3,000 diagnostics tests. Nationally, more than three million NHS procedures have been delivered in England through this partnership – making a major contribution in ensuring that NHS operations, chemotherapy sessions, diagnostic tests and consultations continued to be provided to NHS patients, free at the point of use.
This partnership has also played a key role in ensuring the NHS did not become a “Covid-only service”, enabling more than 160,000 life-saving NHS cancer and cardiology treatments to be delivered. This treatment is in addition to care delivered to large numbers of privately funded patients.
Marking the one-year anniversary of the NHS and independent hospitals partnership, the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) has launched a new report shining a light on what has been achieved over the last 12 months, with a specific focus on what independent hospital sector support has meant to both patients and the NHS.
As part of this covid partnership, independent hospitals have also played a key role in supporting NHS junior doctors, hosting over 2,000 medical trainees throughout 2020.
While the national partnership agreement will conclude at the end of March, independent providers remain committed to supporting the Covid-19 recovery and will continue to play a key role working with local NHS partners to deal with the significant backlog of delayed care due to covid. The latest NHS performance data published this month showed the largest ever official waiting list on record at 4.59 million, with over 300,000 people now waiting longer than one year for treatment.
The report read: “During the pandemic the Healthcare Management Trust’s (HMT) St Hugh’s Hospital (SHH) were among the first independent facilities to form part of the local Gold Command Group, initially upskilling their entire workforce and preparing a covid step-down model in support of the local trust, before zoning the hospital to become Covid secure and safely reintroducing elective surgery.
“SHH engaged with multiple local NHS Trusts to identify the most clinically appropriate patients within travelling distance of Grimsby, with new relationships formed with Hull and Lincoln NHS Trusts alongside the existing partnership with North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust.
“Collectively, an Indicative Activity Plan was built, and the hospitals are on track to exceed their planned patient throughput, whilst maintaining outstanding patient outcomes and direct feedback. Working with three trusts has allowed SHH to optimise their case mix and deliver the greatest possible benefit to the wider healthcare system, and in total over 13,000 NHS procedures have now been delivered by SHH, including over 8,000 outpatient appointments and 3,000 diagnostics tests.”
Praising St Hugh’s Hospital in the report was Roger Height, Head of Commissioning for NHS ARDEN and GEM CCG. He said: “There has been clear leadership and direction from the St Hugh’s director, with the wider St Hugh’s team having a can-do approach. The provider has been very proactive and has reduced the burden on the acute trust by contacting patients to make them aware that they could be treated at St Hugh’s.
“When speaking to patients they are providing assurance and answering any questions that arise. This approach has resulted in significant volumes of patients being transferred and treated.”
David Hare, chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), said:
“Over the past year, independent sector hospitals – including St Hugh’s Hospital – have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with the NHS and have made a significant contribution in ensuring vital NHS care, including 160,000 cancer and cardiology treatments, could continue during the pandemic.
“On the one-year anniversary of this historic partnership, I’m delighted to be launching this report showcasing just some of the many inspiring local partnerships between independent and NHS providers during what has undoubtedly been the toughest periods in the health service’s history.
“Independent providers like St Hugh’s remain committed to supporting the NHS as part of the post-covid recovery and this partnership will continue to evolve in the months and years ahead with a renewed focus on clearing the significant backlog of NHS operations, whilst also ensuring private patients can access the care they need.”
Read the full report below. St Hugh’s is mentioned on page 8: