Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Population 743,000
Beds 789
Income £195,686k
Comprehensive Surplus £1,209k
Operating Surplus £2,949k
EBITDA 6.5%
PPI Cap 1.5%
PPI £1,514k
Public Members 5,874

During 2011/12, the trust was declared by Monitor to be no longer in breach of its terms of authorisation, as a result of demonstrable improvements. In addition, the trust received a qualified audit certificate from their external auditors145:

The trust was de-escalated from significant breach in January 2012. However as a result of the trust remaining in breach for the first 9 months of the year the auditors issued a qualified audit certificate as they were not able to satisfy themselves on the trust’s use of resources.

The trust has taken active steps to get more private patients. In the Annual Report [1], it says:

Private Patient Unit: The board has agreed to invest £500,000 in additional [sic] and dedicated capacity to treat private inpatients separately within the trust. This will be achieved through the establishment of a new ward for private patients on B5, to be called The Cornelia Private Patient Centre. The new centre will open in August/September 2012 and will enable the trust to meet increasing demand from consultants, and patients, who wish to benefit from private patient facilities managed by the trust.

The Annual Report, intended for the public, indicates that the demand is from both consultants and patients. However, the Forward Plan [2] (which is not aimed at the public) describes the situation slightly differently, it indicates that the demand is just from consultants:

Private Patient Unit – The Board have agreed to invest £0.5m in additional [sic] and dedicated capacity to treat private inpatients separately within the Trust. The new centre will open in August / September 2012 and will enable the Trust to meet increasing demand from consultants who wish to admit patients to Trust managed facilities.

The PPU was opened in October 2012 and was described by the local press [3] as:

A luxurious ward set aside for private patients has been officially opened inside the NHS’s Poole Hospital. The Cornelia Suite has six spacious single rooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, free television, radio, wi-fi and daily newspapers – and some of the best views in town. The hospital trust has spent £500,000 on designing and setting up the new facility in a disused part of the fifth floor in the hope of grabbing a bigger slice of the lucrative private healthcare market.

The trust website [4] describes the unit as:

The new facility contains six private rooms, all with en-suite facilities, and is located on the fifth floor of the hospital, offering patients spectacular views of Poole and the harbour. Designed with comfort in mind, the rooms provide an exclusive facility for private patients, but with the experience and expertise of an established NHS hospital on-hand.

The Forward Plan lists AQP as a threat:

The Trust faces increased competition or lower prices or both through the commissioners’ plans to tender certain services to “Any qualified Provider”. Current plans include dermatology, endoscopy and pain services

The trust expresses a desire to merge with Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals. This was first investigated by the Office of Fair Trading [5] OFT decided that the merger of the trusts could be “anti-competitive” and have who then referred the case to the Competitions Commission who have yet to announce their decision [6].

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[1] www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/sites/all/modules/fckeditor/plugins/ktbrowser/_openTKFile.php?id=12771
[2] www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/sites/all/modules/fckeditor/plugins/ktbrowser/_openTKFile.php?id=10661
[3] www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/ 10004347.Luxury_ward_ready_for_private_patients_at_Poole_Hospital/
[4] www.poole.nhs.uk/latest_news/private_patient_suite.asp
[5] www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/pressstatements/2012/94-12
[6] www.competition-commission.org.uk/our-work/royal-bournemouth-and-christchurch-poole