08 January 2021


Collaboration at a time of national crisis


The independent sector stands ready to support the NHS at this critical moment for the country

As we enter a third national lockdown, the data is clear: the daily rate of new COVID-19 infections in the UK is now higher than at any point during the pandemic and the new variant is spreading across the country at an alarming rate.

The consequences of this will once again test every aspect of the UK’s healthcare system, with the NHS already officially declared to be at risk of being “overwhelmed” and troubling scenes emerging from NHS hospitals across the country.

Throughout the pandemic, communities across the UK have banded together, unified in their thanks for key workers and businesses from all parts of the economy doing what they can to support the nation’s response.

This unifying spirit has been particularly evident in the healthcare sector, with independent providers stepping up to facilitate vital elective NHS appointments and creating ‘COVID-free’ pathways for essential elective care. At The Hospital Group, we have been proud to play our part in this ground-breaking partnership, repurposing our hospitals in Birmingham and Manchester at pace to ensure that they were ready to accept NHS patients and support than nation’s fight against the virus.  

Behind the figures there are countless human stories that remain at the forefront of our minds; not only for those suffering from COVID-19 right now, but also for patients with chronic conditions, particularly those battling cancer and heart disease during this time of huge uncertainty, or with a need for time-sensitive elective surgeries, who have had their treatment postponed as a result of pressure placed on NHS services.  

The magnitude of the current situation – which now surpasses that of the first wave – therefore demands a unified approach to the delivery of continuity of care. The independent sector, therefore, once again stands ready to support the NHS at this critical moment for our nation’s health and wellbeing.

This means that we are ready and primed to provide capacity for vital non-COVID care on a collaborative basis to NHS Trusts that need our support, across the country.

The independent healthcare sector will always be an agile and innovative force in the UK’s healthcare system, and the current situation demands that we once again play our part in supporting the country’s efforts to tackle the virus, both in the immediate term and as we emerge from the pandemic. 

The way in which we respond together over the coming months can set the tone for future collaboration between the NHS and independent providers beyond the pandemic. Not only will this ensure that essential continuity of care remains accessible to patients across the country, but it will also provide a further opportunity to widen access to the substantial value of public-private partnerships that stand to benefit the country’s healthcare system as a whole; helping to drive innovation, improve efficiencies and bring long-term benefits to the delivery of outstanding care to patients across the UK.

It is this shared objective that will unite healthcare professionals across the public and independent sectors, both in the coming months as we address the impact of the crisis together, and as we emerge from the pandemic, with the common purpose of delivering world-leading, outstanding and compassionate continuity of care for patients across the country, whenever and wherever it is needed most.

- Tony Veverka, Group CEO

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