Tina Foster, Mature Times health editor spoke to Neil McCullough Group Business Development Director for Spire Healthcare plc about the evolution of their private hospital network. He shares how he sees services developing and changing in the future to meet the growing need for health services on demand.
With the well documented ageing population and the increasing availability of technology, private hospital group Spire Healthcare are growing the number, increasing the size and developing the technology of their hospital network.
Spire Healthcare delivers private healthcare services in England, Wales and Scotland and recently won private hospital group of the year at the HealthInvestor Awards for the second year running.
With 39 hospitals and 13 clinics already owned and operated by them there are plans to add further sites. In an industry that is highly competitive and heavily regulated, they offer clean and safe environments, easy access, appealing facilities and the latest technology.
McCullough said, ‘In the last year we have added Spire St Anthony’s in Cheam and our Specialist Care Centre in Bristol (Spire’s first dedicated, specialist Cancer Treatment Centre) to our existing network and have building projects in place for new hospitals in Nottingham, Manchester and a second Specialist Care Centre near Chelmsford, Essex.’
McCullough puts the increasing population size and age as a major contributor to the funding gap between demand and the really stretched NHS resources, which has been widely publicised recently.
As well as traditional private insurance policies providing the core of the private hospital market, Spire Healthcare has seen an increase in the number of people funding their own treatment to make sure they have access to services whenever is convenient for them.
‘Self-Pay’, as Spire refers to this approach, has been in place for some time, but in recent years has seen growth with people making the most of fast, efficient access to treatment and all the other benefits associated with being in the private hospital environment.
‘’We have seen more and more patients choosing to take control of their own healthcare and we have worked hard to develop completely transparent fixed prices to give peace of mind to patients when it comes to affordability.’’ explains McCullough.
The increasing investment into new facilities and an increase in the complexity of procedures performed within Spire Healthcare’s facilities is a trend that looks likely to continue for some time in the future.
‘’We’ve invested in excess of £650m in our facilities since 2007 and it has enabled us to not only make our regular services available to people throughout the UK by adding more sites, but has also allowed our consultants to deliver complex cardiac, spinal and cancer services and procedures.” McCullough concluded.