Circle Bath Hospital’s efforts recognised for supporting and protecting the NHS
The Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN) has published its latest report here, which highlights how the independent healthcare sector has supported the NHS. Circle Bath Hospital is one of two South West independent hospitals that are recognised for supporting the safe relocation of NHS services. The report separately acknowledges the hospital for a strong level of engagement with local NHS resilience initiatives.
Unprecedented times required an extraordinary response. So when the Government called upon the independent sector to support and protect our NHS, it took an exceptional institution, underpinned by the passion and a dedicated team, to rise to the occasion. Circle Bath Hospital successfully serviced all three response initiatives, including providing facilities, equipment and resource. Additionally, they have developed safe and effective patient pathways ensuring the highest level of safety when treating patients amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, to support the NHS during the pandemic, it was decided by the Royal United Hospital (RUH), in the best interests of the NHS, that Circle Bath Hospital would be transformed into a cancer treatment hospital. The rationale was to protect and shield some of the region’s most vulnerable patients and increase the NHS’s surge capacity by freeing up the RUH’s William Budd Ward. A transition of this scale would usually require months of planning, hundreds of meetings and countless work hours to achieve. In reality, they had a week to plan and an additional 8 days to complete the site’s physical transition, of which 4 days made up the Bank Holiday weekend. The hospital led by its Senior Management and experienced departmental leads transformed the building, installing new NHS IT systems throughout, reallocated administrative spaces to house Oncology services including the Macmillan Support teams and Circle inducted over 150 NHS employees to their facility. They implemented extensive PPE training and redeployed their own staff to new roles. Staff previously working in administrative and office-based jobs volunteered to take on cleaning, catering and healthcare assistant roles to help meet increased demand.
Speaking with Lesley Lock, Hospital Director it is clear the whole hospital contributed to the formidable efforts made to support the local NHS resilience initiatives.
“We have managed to demonstrate many of our core business values and behaviors. Disruption is one of these, and it is no surprise we are able to manage this distribution well. I am proud to witness first-hand the resilience of our staff during this transitional period. Many decisions have had to be made last minute and appropriate action taken within a very short space of time. The ability to be agile during challenging times has been evident throughout all of our hospital departments. The displays of partnership between departments and other hospitals is warmly reassuring. It makes me proud that all of our teams are fluidly working so closely with one another to achieve a common purpose, and doing so with humanity to support our NHS.”
In addition to providing facilities the hospital also supported the RUH’s frontline ITU and theatre department by providing anaesthetic machines. Machines weren’t the only thing that made the short trip across Bath to the RUH. Seventeen members of Circle staff selflessly volunteered to be relocated too. The additional resource and equipment allowed the RUH to re-open four additional theatres and reinforced the RUH’s newly establish Pierce ICU teams. Find out more here.
Up until the end of May 2020, over 1600 NHS daycase oncology patients were treated at Circle Bath Hospital. In addition to this, Circle also completed over 80 urgent surgery cases and supported over 1400 urgent radiology scans for the RUH and Yeovil District Hospital (YDH).
Caroline Gilleece, RUH Matron for Haematology/Oncology and Lead Cancer Nurse, expressed her gratitude to the proactive support extended by Bath’s newest independent hospital:
“On behalf of the Oncology/Haematology team I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the senior management team, Claire (Inpatient Lead) and all the nursing team, pharmacists, receptionists, hostesses, catering teams, portering and maintenance. You all contributed to providing safe care to our patients and providing many fond memories for all our staff.”
Recently the oncology and haematology wards were repatriated safely to the RUH. This now enables Circle Bath to be utilised for elective surgery by the RUH and restart their own private patient pathways.
“We continue to make efforts to support our local trusts and protect our NHS. Fortunately we have not experienced a second wave within this region, and may that remain the case. I wholeheartedly admire and thank each individual and every department for their enthusiasm and their passion to support these initiatives to protect our NHS.” Lesley Lock concluded.
Many independent hospitals, like Circle Bath continue to support the NHS by prioritising NHS pathways alongside their private patient activity.
If you are considering surgery or require a medical consultation Circle Bath Hospital are available to offer both face-to-face and virtual consultations over the telephone or via video call. For more information or to book a private appointment please call 01761 422288.