Historic partnership with independent sector relieves pressure on the NHS in Manchester during Covid-19 response

26 May 2020

  • Entire cystic fibrosis service transferred from Wythenshawe Hospital
  • Urgent cancer surgery provided for NHS patient

A landmark agreement between the NHS and Spire Healthcare is enabling hundreds of patients in Manchester, who are most at risk if they contract the virus, to continue their treatment.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s cystic fibrosis service has been temporarily transferred from its base at Wythenshawe Hospital to Spire Manchester, in Didsbury, together with all of the clinicians who support the service, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

As well as cystic fibrosis patients, Spire Manchester is carrying out time-critical surgery for NHS patients with breast and lung cancer, relieving pressure on the NHS and allowing it to focus on treating COVID-positive patients and other key services. It has also given over ventilators and other equipment to various NHS hospitals around the city, to help in the efforts to tackle the virus.

The partnership between Spire Healthcare and NHS Trusts in Greater Manchester has been made possible under a national agreement, which Spire, alongside the whole of the independent sector, has signed to make its staff, equipment and facilities available to the NHS to help alleviate the pressure caused by the pandemic. Manchester is the only city to have transferred its cystic fibrosis to Spire Healthcare in the country.

Andy Eadsforth, Hospital Director at Spire Manchester, said: “We are very proud to be supporting the NHS during this pandemic. Although treating people with the virus is the top priority, it is vital that we don’t neglect patients with other urgent and acute conditions. We’re really pleased to have been able to provide a new home to treat some of the city’s population who are particularly vulnerable if they contract the virus. The way in which our colleagues and clinicians from the NHS have worked together seamlessly to provide the high quality care to patients has been nothing short of inspirational.”

A spokesperson for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) said: “The specialist Manchester Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre is one of the largest and longest established adult Cystic Fibrosis (CF) centres in the UK, with an international reputation for excellence and innovation.

“By utilising Spire’s facilities to temporarily relocate our services, we will be able to continue to provide the very best care for our Cystic Fibrosis patients as we continue to tackle to COVID-19 outbreak.”

Cathy Leyland, an NHS patient who received treatment at Spire Manchester, said “My recent diagnosis of breast cancer came at a worrying time with the current climate making treatment options more complicated. It therefore came as a great relief to hear that my local NHS hospital was working with Spire Manchester and I feel extremely fortunate that this meant I was able to get the treatment I needed so quickly and efficiently. The care I‘ve received has been incredible, and I cannot thank the consultants, nursing team, anaesthetic team and the support staff enough.”