University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

Population 250,000
Beds 936
Income £533,739k
Comprehensive Surplus £11,407k
Operating Surplus £18,026k
EBITDA £34,300k
PPI Cap 1.1%
PPI £2,448k
Public Members 5,914

The trust’s website indicates that NHS patients can pay for “small single” private rooms [1]:

Private accommodation charge per day £62.
Private accommodation with en-suite charge per day £85.

However, for private patients the trust makes the interesting statement:

Please note: Should you require a day case or inpatient stay, your treatment will be booked with a request for a single rooms, however these are allocated to all patients based on clinical need and may not be available during your stay.

This implies that a private patient may not get a private room if it is needed by a NHS patient with a greater clinical need.

The Board’s January meeting [2] indicated that it would refresh its private patient strategy:

It was also noted that the Trust had identified the need to refresh its private patient strategy and Deborah Lee was working with senior consultants in pulling together an approach for review of that strategy to undertake more private practice in the Trust.

The Board’s September meeting [3] says that the strategy was approved by the board:

The group received a report following the external review of private patient activity and approved the recommendation that an action plan and case for change be worked up for consideration by the Trust Board and Membership Council. Support was also agreed for a more corporate and centralised approach.

The October Board [4] received a paper on the trust’s private patient strategy and the board recommended that Option 3, to increase private patient services, should go ahead:

Option 3 – develop and invigorate the Trust’s approach to private patient services through targeted development of essential elements of improved service

When considering the other options, the Board indicated that if the trust phased out private services the trust’s consultants would complain:

Adverse impact on relationship with consultancy body at a time when consultant engagement is critical

The trust presented the following reasons for recommending Option 3:

Option 3 Review existing care model to test that it is fit for purpose for PP market and address immediate constraints to practice and patient experience followed by targeted development of key service elements. • Low risk profile when contrasted to other options

• Addresses risks of “do nothing” option, with more limited investment than Option IV [dedicated private patient unit ]

• Likely to require some investment (capital and revenue)

• Likely to support income and contribution growth

The board admitted that to increase private patient services there was a need for:

Consideration of a dedicated private patients outpatient consulting suite to ensure first impressions of the Service match the industry standard – one chance to make a first impression. Creation of ear-marked bed and theatre capacity as infra-structure

The aim of the project was:

Opportunity to grow private patient income from current £2m towards £10m, key areas of growth identified as cardiac, children’s, cancer and other specialist regional services

That is, the trust hopes for a four-fold increase in private patient income.

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[4] pp249-252