Our Ipswich hospital has been caring for NHS patients undergoing cancer treatment by hosting an oncology department. This has freed up capacity for ESNEFT to care for and treat people showing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, while shielding vulnerable patients with cancer.

Within just four days, ESNEFT’s Somersham Ward and Woolverstone Day Unit were successfully moved to the Ipswich Hospital, where inpatients and outpatients have received cancer care including chemotherapy and haematology treatment. This was made possible through a clinical governance collaboration between both teams, ensuring that training and knowledge were shared. 

One patient in his sixties, Barry Dinsdale, underwent cancer treatment at ESNEFT and was later transferred to Nuffield Health’s Ipswich Hospital as part of the shielding process.

“I can’t fault the care I’ve received. This is my first time at an independent hospital and the care has been patient-focused and caring.”

“The food has been excellent and I have enjoyed looking at the views from my window. I’m progressing to leaving hospital and receiving treatment at home in the near future.”

Nuffield Health’s Ipswich Hospital hadn’t treated NHS patients for four years, so it was adapted with specialist oncology facilities. Over 40 members of Nuffield Health’s team received training and have worked alongside NHS clinicians.


Nuffield Health’s support for the NHS has included five ventilators being moved into the NHS Trust’s own hospitals.

Ian Milne, Hospital Director at Nuffield Health Ipswich Hospital, said: “We are pleased to offer our support to NHS patients and the teams at East Suffolk & North Essex Foundation Trust at this challenging time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched our country, but the effort, dedication and commitment of NHS staff is truly humbling. As the UK’s largest healthcare charity, we are in a unique position to care for NHS patients clinically, physically and mentally.  

"The whole team has been fantastic, and I am very proud of what they have all done so far, and for what they will be doing as the pandemic evolves."

Speaking about the Trust’s work with the Hospital, Dr Debo Ademokun, Divisional Clinical Director for Cancer and Diagnostics at ESNEFT, said: 

“The staff on both sites were immense in terms of just getting things done in such a short space of time. From nursing, to operations and IT, everyone chipped in.

“Patients have told us they are pleased that they can be treated on a separate site in the current climate and they’re grateful that they have continued to receive their treatments.”

Nuffield Health’s Ipswich Hospital is just one of 31 Nuffield Health hospitals that were made available to NHS trusts across the UK in order to help tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Find out more here.

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NHS East Suffolk and North Essex website
East Anglian Daily Times
Health Secretary Matt Hancock and MP James Cartildge praise the work of the independent sector in Parliament
CQC website (Hospitals, mental health and hospices - System collaboration)