QEH in talks to buy private BMI Sandringham Hospital
PUBLISHED: 09:13 22 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:35 22 July 2020
An NHS hospital could buy a private hospital which stands in its grounds to increase its capacity.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn has confirmed it is in negotiations with the owners of the 35-bed BMI Sandringham Hospital, which offers private orthopaedic and imaging treatments.
It comes as the 500-bed QEH celebrates the 40th anniversary of its official opening in 1980.
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Caroline Shaw, chief executive of the QEH, said: “We are in active discussions with the BMI about the prospect of purchasing the Sandringham Hospital which is based on-site at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“We consider that this presents a fantastic opportunity for the trust to further improve the quality of care for our patients in a high quality and modern estate, consistent with the priorities described in our recently-published corporate strategy.
“This includes the exciting option of developing a new elective treatment centre and the further development of a private facility for our patients.
“We will keep our patients, local community and staff updated as the process moves forward.”
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It is believed the QEH would use the Sandringham to shorten waiting lists, while private procedures could help fund NHS care.
BMI, which operates more than 40 hospitals, has been approached for comment.
In October six hospitals let to BMI, including the St Edmunds Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, were put up for sale by a consortium of investors for £88m.
The following month, it emerged BMI was being sold to Circle Health.
The QEH, on Gayton Road, was opened with an expected working life of 30 years - meaning an upgrade is 10 years overdue.
In March it revealed it had drawn up a £250m blueprint to modernise its facilities.
It includes a new emergency floor, a frailty unit, upgraded inpatient wards, new theatres, a single outpatient department and a new facility for women and children’s services.
When the wish-list was raised in Parliament, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was under “active consideration”.
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