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27 January 2021

COVID-19 Update

Accessing treatment in private settings

At the end of last year, we shared news of the NHS activating the surge clause with the private sector in parts of the UK.  

Similarly, there is now a three-month agreement in place until March 2021 for private hospitals to support the NHS. But this agreement is based on the volume of activity, as opposed to allocation of block capacity as before. Meaning private hospitals are free to manage their own intake.   

We're in regular contact with our network of private hospitals and treatment facilities and for the most part, hospitals are notifying us on two key subjects - Intensive Care Restrictions and Surge Notification.

Intensive Care Restrictions - updated 09/02/2021 11am

Due to the impact the virus is having on nearby emergency NHS ITU resource, some private hospitals that previously relied on emergency transfer arrangements with the NHS have had to suspend some procedures, as they're unable to carry them out in line with safe clinical guidelines. As a direct impact of this, there may be restrictions of some of the types of surgery available. Specifically, non-urgent and elective surgery is likely to be very restricted in these hospital settings. 

We are currently aware of the following 5 hospitals that have such restrictions in place.  For members who have surgery/procedures scheduled at these locations they will need to check directly with the provider if these procedures are going ahead.

  • BMI Southend
  • Nuffield Brentwood
  • Nuffield Tunbridge Wells
  • Spire Tunbridge Wells
  • Spire Bushey

Surge Notices

There are a number of surge notices being issued throughout the country. Please note that whilst surge notices require the facilities to offer more support to the local NHS, they are able to continue to treat private patients, however there may be some disruption.

We know that some conditions may worsen without diagnosis or care, and whilst we're urged to not make unnecessary journeys, we are still encouraging members to contact us to pre-authorise treatment. Throughout all the UK, private hospitals and specialists (including those with Intensive Care Restrictions) remain available for consultations and diagnostics.  

As the situation changes, private hospitals and treatment facilities will actively keep members informed about appointments and treatment that is already scheduled or needs to be re-booked.

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