This year has seen unprecedented demand on our health service as the nation, and the whole world, tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. While vaccination has officially begun, starting with those who are most vulnerable, it will be several months before we see the benefits of the programme. Winter is also a time when more people get ill and the flu leads to an influx of hospital admissions. All of this adds to the fact that the NHS needs to prioritise those with acute conditions and push elective procedures down the queue.
We are very proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with the NHS to help alleviate the burden of the pandemic. Since a major partnership between the NHS and the independent sector commenced in March, collectively, a whopping 1.3 million NHS operations, chemotherapy sessions, tests and consultations took place in private hospitals up to October. You can read more about it here.
However, even with this landmark partnership the NHS is overloaded with a backlog of outstanding operations. According to the NHS, by the end of September 2020, of the 4.35 million patients waiting to start treatment, 139,545 had been waiting for over a year. This problem is put into stark contrast when you consider the NHS states that waiting times for non-urgent referrals should not exceed 18 weeks. In September alone, NHS England revealed that 1.72 million people were waiting more than 18 weeks to start treatment.
In addition to such long waiting times some people are actively putting off electoral surgery because they are worried they will further burden the NHS during these difficult times.
Bearing both of these issues in mind, going private for certain procedures is worth thinking about. After all, even if you have an issue that is non-life threatening such as osteoarthritis, it can still cause a lot of pain and reduce one’s quality of life.
At St John and St Elizabeth there are next-to-no waiting times – in many cases you can be operated on in a matter of days. For example, find out how Allison Wainman OBE, who was suffering from an inguinal hernia was seen the same day that she called the Hospital.
Some people may be concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 when they visit a hospital. However, we’re pleased to say Bupa has recognised St Elizabeth and St John Hospital as a COVID-19 green zone, complying with the UK guidance on COVID-19 infection control standards and other patient safety standards, which we hope will give patients some peace of mind if they are considering elective surgery here.
If you are considering going private we have laid out the best options for you, whether you have health insurance or not, here.
If you have a health concern and are thinking of going private call our team on +44 20 7806 4000 or email: [email protected] .Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form for a member of our team to get in touch with you.