Nuffield Health welcomes flexibility to provide elective care in revised NHS agreement

Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity, has welcomed the opportunity to support patients with elective hospital care as part of the independent sector-wide contract extension with the NHS.

Our Chief Executive, Steve Gray, explains: “As the UK’s largest healthcare charity, we welcome this agreement with the NHS and we are committed to supporting patients, both NHS and those with health insurance or patients who choose to pay for themselves, who have had to wait for hospital care because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The revised agreement with the NHS expands the flexibility and level of care independent sector providers can offer people with conditions including cancer surgery, cardiac care, orthopaedics, spinal surgery which were previously assessed as ‘non-urgent’ during the first phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. By utilising available capacity within the independent sector, both NHS and privately-funded patients can get the diagnosis and treatment they need faster, reducing waiting times and relieving the pressure on our fantastic NHS. 

“So far over one hundred thousand NHS patients have benefitted from the care provided at our 31 hospitals across the UK during the pandemic. This includes Covid-19 positive patients, those needing intensive care or oxygen support, those undergoing cancer treatment (shielding vulnerable patients from Covid-19), and those needing urgent surgery. We remain committed to providing additional capacity to NHS trusts and NHS patients as the pandemic continues to evolve.”

Our Medical and Charity Director, Dr Davina Deniszczyc, adds: “The health and safety of our patients and hospital teams remains our first priority. Our experienced infection prevention teams are following all government advice and implementing strict safety measures within our 31 hospitals across the UK. This includes new zonal pathways for patients to ensure social distancing measures are followed and our hospital teams will wear PPE. Additionally, we are successfully providing remote consultations for patients and almost 30,000 appointments have already been made for our virtual physiotherapy service, through our ‘My Therapy’ app.

“With over 60 years’ experience in clinical care, we are in a unique position to care for patients clinically, physically and mentally. Our end-to-end connected services make us stand out in our care for people of all ages, from fitness and wellbeing to treatment and recovery. We are ideally placed to do this as we offer hospitals, physiotherapy, gyms, emotional wellbeing, Health MOTs and Recovery Plus to our patients, people, members and customers.”

In a recent nationwide survey of 3,217 of our patients, 73% indicated they will reschedule their appointment within a month of being able to do so. Twenty per cent indicated they will delay their rebooking for 1-6 months, primarily due to Covid-19 concerns or due to timing issues, holiday plans or work and family commitments. Only 2% stated they would not rebook.

For a virtual tour of the social distancing measures and safety procedures we have implemented, click here

Last updated Friday 14 August 2020

First published on Thursday 13 August 2020