Care UK is proud to announce that one of the first independent sector treatment centres set up by the government of the time to cut NHS waiting lists has just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre in Plymouth opened its doors to NHS patients on 25 April 2005. It was one of the first so-called independent sector treatment centres to open in the UK as part of the government’s initiative to introduce the independent sector to the running of some NHS services. The initiative was designed to improve patient choice, cut waiting lists and bring in new, efficient ways of working.
Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre was set up by Care UK and followed hot on the heels of the first elective surgery service that the organisation established near Chesterfield earlier that year. Care UK continues to run this service today as Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre.
From the very outset Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre was popular with patients. Of the 300 who were the first to be offered treatment there, 297 accepted. The hospital began by offering orthopaedic treatments and surgery, but over the years the offering has expanded to include cataract surgery (it currently carries out around 100 cataract procedures a month) and, recently, general surgery, ENT and some orthopaedic surgery on behalf of the local hospital trust.
Since 2005 tens of thousands of NHS patients from across Devon and Cornwall have received treatment at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, which to this day maintains a 100 per cent infection-free track record, as well as thousands of plaudits from satisfied patients.
Just recently the centre entered the national top 10 for the friends and family test, which is the measure used for whether a patient would recommend the hospital in which they have received treatment. Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre scored full marks of 100 per cent for ‘extremely likely’ and’ likely’ to recommend, with 97 per cent of patients in those groups choosing ‘extremely likely’.
The first patient ever to receive treatment at the centre was Tom Dart, 79, from Carkeel. He arrived in the outpatient department on 25 April 2005 for an assessment for a knee arthroscopy, and came in for his operation on 3 May.
Back in 2005 Mr Dart was a keen golfer who injured his knee while playing his favourite sport. He wanted to get back to the links full time, which is why he leapt at the chance to receive treatment at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre.
At the time he said: “I’m delighted to be the first patient. I’ve been impressed with the standard of treatment on this first day. The hospital is very clean and modern, and the staff have been absolutely wonderful. I have had all my tests in one go – a full ECG, a blood test, heart test and what have you – and I have met all the doctors, anaesthetists and physiotherapists who will be treating me, who have all explained to me what will happen. I’m looking forward to being back on the golf course at full fitness sooner than I originally thought, thanks to being seen quicker at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre.”
Fast-forward 10 years and Mr Dart and his wife Marion returned to the centre on its recent open day, to celebrate the hospital’s anniversary.
He said: “It’s lovely to be back and I have very fond memories of my treatment here. Marion and I were delighted to hear that the hospital will continue to provide excellent care for people like me across the region. We were delighted to be invited back to help celebrate the 10th anniversary – it was kind of the hospital to ask us.”
Patricia Warwick, hospital director at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, said: “After the uncertainty at the end of last year we are so pleased to have a bright future ahead of us and to be able to celebrate our 10th anniversary. The centre remains a valid choice for NHS patients in Devon and Cornwall who are seeking treatment, and provided they meet our criteria they can ask their GP or referral service to refer them here for treatment. We were delighted that Mr and Mrs Dart could join us to celebrate our important milestone.”
Care UK runs 10 NHS treatment centres.