The Christie Foundation Trust

The Christie has a private patient unit called The Christie Clinic which is a joint venture between the trust and HCA International. The trust has one of the highest private patient incomes of the English FTs, in 2011/12 the unit had an income of £18.514m from private patients (the total income of the trust was £185m).

The award of the proton beam unit to The Christie represents a significant public sector investment in the trust. The trust’s strategic objectives given in February 2012 board papers [1] say that they intend to provide proton beam therapy to private patients:

It includes our joint venture with Health Care America to provide private patient services such as the proposed proton beam therapy services.

The Board papers in January 2012 [2] indicate that the trust is planning to build a new private patient unit (The Christie Clinic Ambulatory Centre) near the proton beam therapy unit:

We continue to work closely with University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Department of Health to assist the DH with their Proton Beam Therapy strategy. However the majority of the work undertaken to date remains ‘frozen’ awaiting a positive indication from the DH. The intention remains to locate the new Christie Clinic Ambulatory Centre above the PBTU [Proton Beam Therapy Unit] and design considerations are ongoing.

The cost of treating a private patient in an NHS provided facility is clearly far less than for a UK national to travel overseas for the treatment. Clearly The Christie plan for private patients to benefit from a multi-million pound investment by the NHS. The Department of Health OBC suggested that the two site case would be run at maximum capacity to cover NHS patients, so it is unclear where The Christie will find the extra capacity for its private patients. It should be noted that the OBC figure includes 5% for research and there is the possibility that this “research” capacity could be used to treat private patients.

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[1] www.christie.nhs.uk/media/272567/Board_Agenda_270212.pdf
[2] www.christie.nhs.uk/media/268678/Board_Agenda_300112.pdf