New healthcare centre of excellence opens

15 May 2013

The Unit, a new concept for the private sector, providing comprehensive acute emergency and elective care under a ‘teaching hospital structure and governance standards,’ opens at The Lister Hospital in London.

More than 60 of London’s top teaching hospital consultants have formed a group to deliver fast access around the clock to both acute and elective services.  The Unit is medically led and is underpinned by robust and transparent clinical governance processes that mirror best practice in the top NHS London teaching hospitals.

The Unit provides GPs and patients with 24/7 access to comprehensive world-class healthcare at The Lister Hospital, as well as allowing access to super-specialised services across the HCA hospitals network.

Utilising the ultra modern facilities at The Lister Hospital, The Unit has three components:

  • The Acute Care Unit – a 24x7 comprehensive acute care service, including intensive care that can be accessed by consultants and GPs
  • The Surgeon’s Clinic - a selection of elective surgical services including colorectal, urological, abdominal wall, vascular and endovascular surgery
  • The Chelsea Medical Unit - a selection of elective medical specialities for inpatients and outpatients ranging from aviation medicine to general medicine to rheumatology.

One of the architects of this initiative is The Unit’s Medical Director, Mr Arjun Shankar, Consultant General, Hepato-biliary and Sarcoma surgeon at the Royal Free and University College London Hospitals Foundation Trusts.

“We are taking the very best of NHS practice and duplicating it in the private sector, a structure which up until now has not existed in private healthcare.”

“We are setting up emergency and elective services structured in an identical manner to that found in a major London hospital,” said Mr Shankar.

“In an emergency we will accept all conditions that are not a 999 situation.  We’re talking about patients who have been seen and assessed by their GP who felt they were suitable for referral to us.”

“In terms of elective services, in the first instance we are providing vascular, colorectal, upper GI, sarcoma and urological surgery. In parallel we will be running a comprehensive range of outpatient-based medical specialities provided by the same team who will be delivering our acute medical service.”

“As per leading NHS units. our patients will be looked after by a team of consultants from the same sub-speciality rather than individuals working alone as well as groups of allied support specialities,” said Mr Shankar. “All patients will be managed in an identical multidisciplinary team environment as per the best of NHS practice so our patients can be assured of the best care available in the UK.”

“Events such as that seen recently at Mid Staffs demonstrate the importance of this kind of robust governance throughout healthcare,” he said.

The Lister Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer, Suzy Jones said the hospital shared the same philosophy as the team behind The Unit.  “The higher the standard of care, the higher safety standards become and the better outcomes will be for patients.  We are constantly looking at ways to improve and strengthen the comprehensive range of services we offer for patients and their doctors and The Unit is an industry leading innovation that will surely be replicated by other private hospitals in the future,” she said.

The number to call for The Unit’s Acute Admissions service at The Lister Hospital is: 0207 881 4190.

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