South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Population 1,500,000
Beds 932
Income £522,789k
Comprehensive Surplus (£2,361k)
Operating Surplus £13,033k
PPI Cap 1.1%
PPI £1,480k
Public Members 4,737

The Annual Report [1] does not list the private patient income for 2011/12. However, the trust does provide private IVF [2], [3]. The Middlesbrough Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Board (referenced below) give the trust’s PPI for 2011/12 as £1.48m.

At a public governors’ meeting on the future of the Friarage Hospital the trust [4] said that it intended to increase private work:

Already, many patients travel from Teesside to the Friarage for orthopaedic and urology services, and we would like over time to extend this choice to other services such as breast services. This may also include undertaking more private work – again not at the expense of local NHS patients but as part of a strategy of income generation to ensure that, as we face sustained reductions in our income from our current activities, we find new ways to keep money flowing into the hospital so that it can continue to work safely and to a high quality.

Further, on 16 October 2012 the Middlesbrough Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Board [5] had a board item specifically on the possibility of the trust increasing its private patient income. The Board were told:

It was reported that given the current minimal level of activity in relation to private patient income, the Trust was actively investigating the potential to increase such income and the resources that would be required. The Panel heard that it was considered that the STHFT had the potential to offer the more complex services which private hospitals were not able to provide, due to the extensive clinical support services situated at JCUH. In addition, it was reported that it could build on the quality of current NHS services and strengthen the expertise of medical staff and the co-location of all specialities and diagnostics on one site. The panel was advised that STHFT feels that there is scope to expand all specialties, in particular current general surgery and orthopaedic services and develop private cosmetic surgery services. The Panel was advised that even if the level of activity in respect of private patient income significantly increased it would still be a small proportion in comparison with NHS services.

The trust confirmed that its plan would be to create a Private Patients Unit.

In the Forward Plan[6] the trust says that AQP is not a threat, and if anything, they regard it as an opportunity:

We are starting to see the use of the new Any Qualified Provider process, although no service has yet been established on this basis so its implications are not yet clear. While this may put some of our services at risk, our opinion is that it presents a greater opportunity to develop new services and potentially to expand our catchment area. Interestingly the consequence of competitive tendering processes so far has been to increase collaboration between NHS providers to offer joint bids, rather than it stimulating increased competition between NHS providers.

The Forward Plan also emphasises the trust intended dependence on charity:

We also intend to increase the scope of charitable fund raising through raising the profile of charitable giving and targeted campaigns to support specific service developments.

In the Forward Plan the trust mentions that it intends to do more private work as part of its finance strategy:

Growth is driven by demographic growth, 3 major service developments (oncology expansion to meet demand for radiotherapy, additional cardiac catheter lab capacity to meet demand for cardiology services, and additional high dependency beds) and a range of other service developments and private patient activity, offset by commissioners’ QIPP demand management plans.

Further, the trust mentions “private sector business opportunities” in the Innovation section and its planned membership of an Academic Health Science Network:

As a major specialised services provider, the Trust intends to be instrumental in shaping any future AHSN for the North East which will bring with it new partnership opportunities in terms of private sector business opportunities and translational research with universities.

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