University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Population 650,000
Beds 1,207
Income £537,981k
Comprehensive Surplus (£1,148k)
Operating Surplus £8,076k
EBITDA £9,300k
PPI Cap 2%
PPI £4,379k
Public Members 12,054

The trust has a private patient unit called the Solent Private Suite [1] for cancer patients. The trust’s leaflet [2] on the unit suggests that it has a single ensuite room and a single consultation room. The trust also provides private cataract surgery [3]:

Private patients can choose to benefit from high quality eye care by local NHS consultants at Southampton General Hospital. Fewer non-urgent services can be paid for by the NHS but we know that patients still want to see our expert staff and be treated within the advanced care environment of a specialist teaching hospital. […]

This service offers you the option of cataract surgery even if your vision is better than the current level required for NHS surgery. We offer surgery when you feel you need it.

The December 2011 Board papers capital plan [4] lists:

£220k investment in improving facilities for Private and Self Funding Patients, completing in March 2012

The January Board papers [5], Corporate Risk Register listed problems of a shortage of radiotherapy staff (a shortfall of almost 37 %), saying that:

Current UHS staffed positions are insufficient to meet the levels of care that are required.

As a result:

Linac [linear accelerator] A has been closed for many periods during the last year and has been opened since August due to severe capacity pressures for a maximum of 4 hours a day. UHS has met the 31 day targets but with no margin and sometimes only for the quarter but not every month in that quarter. The Service is substantially limited in its ability to develop new technologies providing state of the art techniques, resulting in loss of private patient activity to other local providers with consequent loss of income estimated at £400k per annum. The ability to respond flexibly to meet 31 and 62 day targets is substantially reduced. The service is limited to core provision only

The trust says that it will negotiate with the commissioners to get an increase in tariff to support a five year staff plan. The statement says that there was a loss of private patient activity and that the trust’s response to the 31 and 62 day cancer targets were “substantially reduced”. The trust says that:

CEO working with Consultant Oncologists to improve private patient income.

The trust has problems achieving the 18 week target and the May 2012 board papers [6] says that the trust agreed with commissioners to move 250 patients from the trust’s waiting list to private providers.

However an RTT recovery plan has been signed off with commissioners which will see commissioners supporting the movement of up to 250 patients directly from the UHS backlog to private sector providers. This provides a level of mitigation for the by specialty performance to be delivered in full by the end of Q2.

Meanwhile, the same board papers [7] says that a priority area for the trust’s sustainability is:

Diversification of Income. Training and increase volumes of private patients.

In the Forward Plan [8]:

We aim therefore to forge strong partnerships with both commercial and public sector organisations.

The Forward Plan lists as competitiors:

The Independent Southampton Treatment Centre (ISTC) contract is due to expire in 2015 so presenting a potential opportunity and/or threat. We expect to see new market entrants from the private sector eg Circle at Adanac Park.

The Finance Strategy in the Forward Plan says that it intends to increase private income:

Private patients are budgeted to grow by £700k in 12/13, driven by developments in fertility and cancer care, with modest rises thereafter. We will review our Private Patient Strategy and plans in 2012/13. Education income is anticipated to fall in 2013-2015 as a result of the transition arrangements relating to the introduction of tariffs for education placements, instead of the current block-based system.

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[6] Key Performance Indicators, p74
[7] Ibid, 5 Year CIP Update, p105