Historic partnership allows Worcester NHS patients to receive urgent care at Spire South Bank Hospital

26 August 2020

Almost 500 NHS patients have received cancer and other urgent treatment at Spire South Bank Hospital, under a landmark partnership between Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the Spire hospital, on Worcester’s Bath Road.

Since the start of the peak of the pandemic, Spire’s team has carried out breast cancer surgery for NHS patients as well as treating patients with gynaecological, urological and colorectal cancers in a safe, COVID-secure environment. During the first 9 weeks of the pandemic, the team undertook 111 breast cancer operations alone. This has relieved pressure on Worcestershire’s NHS hospitals, enabling them to focus on treating patients suffering from COVID-19.

In recent weeks, Spire South Bank Hospital has been helping Worcestershire’s NHS hospitals to restart routine operations, such as treatment for people with gastrointestinal problems. This is helping to cut waiting lists.

The partnership 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 at cost only to help alleviate the pressure caused by the pandemic.

Mr Steven Thrush, Consultant Breast Surgeon and Lead for Breast at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The ability of the Worcestershire NHS Breast Team to work in partnership with Spire South Bank Hospital has allowed us to continue to deliver both surgery and imaging for our patients during the pandemic. This partnership has delivered a quick, safe, quality service which has allowed us to keep up with our targets. We are extremely grateful to all the hospital’s staff and management for their hard work, excellence of care and warmth."

Spire South Bank’s Hospital Director, Dawn Pickrell, said “I am very proud of the entire team and their quick and professional response to the challenge. To have completed so many procedures under the current circumstances is a credit to everyone.

“Not only have we assisted in tackling NHS waiting lists, but we have made a positive difference to so many people’s lives and I know I can speak for everyone in saying how honoured we are to have helped in these uncertain times.

“The feedback we have received from patients and consultants alike has been fantastic. While different challenges arise as lockdown is eased, we look forward to caring for many more patients and I’m sure we will look back on this time with a great deal of pride.”

Jennifer Ree, a patient of Mr Thrush said, “I received the best possible care at Spire South Bank Hospital. Before my operation I was very anxious and Mr Thrush and the entire team completely put me at ease. The hospital felt safe and clean and I consider myself very lucky to have had my treatment there at this difficult time.”

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