Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Papworth Clinic offers expert private heart and lung treatment at the UK’s largest cardiothoracic hospital, Papworth NHS foundation Trust.
The Papworth private patient service is housed in the purpose-built Varrier-Jones Ward and has 16 rooms with en-suite facilities, a range of outpatient facilities and access to the hospitals five operating theatres, five catheterisation laboratories and extensive equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the heart and lungs.
In the Annual Plan the trust makes a curious statement about compliance with corporate governance of the board to “safeguard private investment”:
Papworth Hospital is able to demonstrate compliance with the corporate governance principle that the Board of Directors maintains a sound system of internal control to safeguard public and private investment
It is not clear what it means by “private investment”. The trust has an established private practice, and in the “losses and special payments” section of the Annual Accounts there is the following statement:
The majority of the cases related to private patient debt write offs where management were of the opinion that it would be fruitless to continue pursuing payment of the debt. … There was one individual case in 2011/12 (2010/11 – nil) where a debt write off exceeded £100,000.
This shows one downside of private practice: the occasional necessity of writing off the debts of bad debtors.
In 2011/12 the private patient income was above plan at £5.57m (4.7% of total patient income), but the Forward Plan the trust says that they expect private income to increase only marginally in 2012/13 (£5.9m, 4.8% of total patient income).
The trust plans to build a new hospital and this is clearly expected to changes the situation. The trust expects this hospital to be completed in 2016, so the three year plan says:
The Trust will continue to explore increasing patient activity through attracting patients who look to other cardiothoracic centres and/or the opportunities provided by the Health and Social Care Act around increasing private patient income.
This shows that the trust clearly expects an increase in private patients as part of the new hospital.
The Annual Report makes an interesting comment about their charity income:
During the year, Papworth achieved the second highest available financial rating of four in Q1 to Q4. As required by Monitor, Papworth included charity financial data in the plan for 2011/12 and therefore a planned FRR of ‘5’. The in-year reporting requirements from Monitor excluded charity financial data resulting in a FRR of ‘4’ in each quarter.
The Financial Risk Rating (FRR) is calculated from various measurable values (liquidity, debt, surplus, etc) and a value of 5 is an indication of the least financial risk. The trust is saying that the contribution from charity reduces their financial risk by a not insignificant amount.