Bupa diverts customers away from IOW hospital 

Bupa has stopped recommending that its patients receive private treatment at St Mary’s Hospital on the Isle of Wight after the trust was rated ‘Inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in its latest inspection.  

The hospital has been in special measures since April 2017 after being rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ in 2014.

According to local media, health insurers Axa and Aviva are also no longer sending patients to the hospital in Newport.

Bupa has instead recommended that customers attend Spire Healthcare’s Southampton Hospital and the Queen Alexandra in Portsmouth – and said it will cover the cost for patients and a relative to travel elsewhere in the UK for treatment if needed.

James Sherwood, Bupa’s director of health and benefits management, said: ‘Earlier in the year we made the decision to temporarily stop sending our customers to the St Mary’s Hospital Isle of Wight NHS Trust as it received an inadequate CQC rating.

‘Our customers’ safety and wellbeing is our number one priority,’ he added.

Bupa said it will review the hospital’s suspension once the CQC is satisfied that service improvements have been made.

The regulator’s latest report rated seven of the trust’s 23 services as ‘Inadequate’ and 11 as ‘Requires improvement’ –  but rated all services ‘Good’ for being caring.

The hospital has 246 beds, handling 22,685 admissions each year.

In a statement the trust said: ‘Although our private patient unit was not the subject of the CQC review, the overall status of the trust means that some private health insurers choose not to recommend us. However, this does not mean that the insurance brokers won’t support people receiving their treatment with us.

‘Our understanding is that insurance brokers will assess this on a case by case basis, liaising directly with the individual patient concerned. Private patients continue to have a choice of where to have their treatments, and again this is something they discuss directly with their private health insurers.’