NHS Wales has reached agreements with private hospitals to turn over their capacity to the NHS during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Nuffield Health said it was making its Cardiff Bay and Vale Hospitals available to NHS patients requiring ‘time sensitive surgery in a low Covid-19 risk setting’. Detailed discussions are currently taking place over the level of support needed by local NHS organisations, but the charitable hospital and wellbeing provider will also provide clinicians, support services and clinical equipment.
Spire Healthcare has also confirmed the signing of Heads of Terms with the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee to make its facilities and services available during the outbreak. The agreement, which commenced on Monday 6 April, means its two hospitals in Wales join the 35 in England assisting the NHS.
The move follows the agreement between the independent sector and NHS England, which saw almost all private hospital capacity in England turned over to the NHS for a minimum of 14-weeks from 23 March. Like in England, independent providers in Wales will be reimbursed at cost and subject to external audit.
Nuffield Health CEO Steve Gray said: ‘This is an unprecedented time, as the UK’s largest healthcare charity we have a huge role to play in supporting the NHS patients in our local communities across the nation. We, alongside other independent hospital providers, have been in discussions with the NHS about how we can support the NHS. This is likely to be for a minimum of three months while the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation continues to require our support.’