Aspen in talks to sell Chelmsford Day Surgery Hospital

Aspen Healthcare has announced it is in talks with a potential buyer for its Chelmsford Private Day Surgery Hospital in Essex.

The company, which was acquired by UAE-based NMC Healthcare for £10m in August, wrote to customers in the middle of January informing them of its intention to exit the business, which is based in Chelmsford town centre.

The letter stated: ‘We have taken the unfortunate decision to sell or to close the Chelmsford Day Surgery Hospital in the near future. This has not been an easy decision and one that has not been taken lightly.’

At the end of last year, another Chelmsford-based private hospital closed its doors. Administrators have been appointed to handle the sale of the Baddow Hospital, which offers cosmetic surgery alongside ENT, gynaecology and private GP services.

The Chelmsford Private Day Surgery Hospital opened in 2006 and has been part of Aspen Healthcare since 2012. It offers a range of a day case surgery and treatment, including cosmetic enhancement and treatment for vascular conditions, eye disorders and back pain.

The hospital remains operational. Aspen said it had commenced a formal consultation with staff at the unit and would inform customers about future plans in due course.

A spokesperson for Aspen said: ‘Whilst the future of the clinic as part of Aspen Healthcare is under review we will be ensuring business continuity and focusing on delivering excellent care to our patients and staff until a final decision is made.’

The news is the latest in what appears to be an internal shake-up at the company following its acquisition by NMC for what many consider to be a knock-down price. Earlier this week, it emerged that long-standing CEO Des Shiels resigned in December. He has been replaced on an interim basis by Paul Hetherington, senior vice president of corporate development at NMC Healthcare.

London-listed NMC has indicated that it plans to increase international patient referrals at Aspen facilities as well as use the nine-strong hospital portfolio as a platform to introduce its fertility services to the UK.