Private healthcare mythbusters!

16 May 2012

Private healthcare has come a long way in recent years, but still many misconceptions persist.

Here are some of the common myths.

Private healthcare can’t offer complex surgery
Louise Daniel: “This is about 15 years out of date. It’s frustrating because to this day some people think we only undertake cosmetic surgery when here at The Glen we offer highly complex surgeries, including cardio thoracic, neuro and spinal. Our consultants regularly perform tasks such as open heart surgery, craniotomies, brain tumour removals, treatments for spinal curvatures, extensive abdominal work, knee replacements and so on. In addition we have our own ICU and HDU where we look after patients whose recovery is not as smooth as hoped.

Once you’ve operated on a patient you cart them back to the NHS
LD: “We haven’t transferred a level 1 or 2 critical care patient to the NHS for years. We’re very good at identifying patients who have high clinical risk pre-op. For instance, if someone comes in for a knee replacement and, through pre-assessment, found they might have complicating conditions, we adjust their care pathway accordingly. We also have an outreach team of intensive care unit nurses who follow up all patients for 48 hours post-op.

You are competing against the NHS
LD: “We work collaboratively with the NHS on initiatives such as Choose and Book. We also take pressure off local NHS budgets. GPs need to know what services and provisions are available in the private sector and that we are another choice for them. If all GPs asked their patients if they have private medical insurance it would relieve pressure on the NHS.

Consultants with private practices only work on private patients
LD: “Of the 350+ consultants who have practices at The Glen some 95 per cent also work in the NHS in and around Bristol.”

You run your hospital with bank or agency staff
LD: “We have well-established, highly trained permanent teams here. We also have our own resident medical officer who is the on site doctor and who knows us and our patients. We run all our own critical care training, including life support classes, and are recognised by the NHS for doing so.”

Here’s what consultant neuro surgeon David Porter has to say about our facilities: “There are few, if any, elective neuro surgical cases that I do not consider that Spire Bristol Hospital could manage.  In a recent audit of the first 30 cranial cases performed at The Glen we have seen excellent results, including:  zero infection rate; zero cases of MRSA, zero cases of C-Diff, zero cases of DVT, zero returns to theatre, zero mortality rate.”

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