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Private clinics bail out hospital
PATIENTS will be offered operations at private clinics as Basildon Hospital attempt to clear a backlog.
The hospital is struggling to deal with a surge in patients needing an op and hopes by sending them private it will get the numbers back to manageable levels.
Latest figures show that in October and November a total of 94 patients were sent home by hospital bosses because staff were unavailable, with a further 240 cancellations made before patients were admitted for treatment. In December, 45 operations had to be rescheduled.
Hannah Coffey, chief operating officer, said: “We have a plan for recovery but expect that it may take four months. We are hoping to outsource operations to alternative private clinics within the local area. Outsourcing is a way of trying to get our patients seen far more quickly.
“In terms of what sorts of operations we can outsource, we will still have to do the more complex operations here. The main concern is that there isn’t typically a high uptake in the scheme, with only around 25 to 40 percent of patients choosing to take up the offer. A lot of people actually prefer to wait longer and get treated at Basildon Hospital instead.
“This is not a financial issue it’s simply a capacity issue.”
The hospital is also sending day patients to Orsett Hospital to relieve the pressure and free up beds at Basildon. Bosses at Basildon Hospital have not yet revealed how much outsourcing to local private clinics will cost, but believe it is vital to improve their performance and patient experience.
The hospital is one of 14 nationally being probed about the care it provides on the NHS and its high death rates and so hopes to improve relations with patients by better explaining why operations are cancelled in future.