SURVEY: Are you turning to private care due to NHS waiting lists?
- Credit: Spire Norwich
As NHS waiting list numbers nationally hit record levels in the wake of the pandemic, we want to hear your experiences through our survey.
Across the NHS a record 4.7 million people are waiting, including more than 90,000 people in Norfolk and Waveney - including 9,000 who have faced delays of more than 12 months.
Spire Norwich has treated more than 20,000 patients during the pandemic and its head says many more are seeking private treatment to get back to "normal lives".
We'd like to know what this means for you and your treatment through our quick survey.
This week the Old Watton Road private hospital opened a new £1.4m operating theatre, having accelerated the plans in anticipation of longer waiting lists.
Nayab Haider, hospital director at Spire Norwich, said: “We are proud to have supported the NHS during one of the worst public health crises experienced in decades.
“We are currently seeing many patients, who have not been able to access the treatment they need up to now as a result of the pandemic. Keen to get back to their normal lives, patients are utilising private healthcare to avoid waiting and have greater certainty on when they will get better.
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“Our new operating theatre forms part of a wider investment programme at Spire Norwich, funding brand new facilities including a CT scanner, all of which will maximise the number of NHS and private patients we can treat.”
The theatre will treat around 30 people a week and be used primarily as a day surgery and treating private patients.
Spire Norwich continues to take on patients through the Commissioning National Framework contract.
Executive members of Norfolk's three main hospitals, including Denise Smith, chief operating officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn, said patients will be regularly reviewed and prioritised due to clinical need.
Sam Higginson, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital chief executive, said: “The pandemic has had a significant impact on our patients waiting for routine treatment and we are sorry and understand patients’ frustrations about long waits."
He added despite hard work to restore services a "long term approach" was needed.
Nicola Cottington, deputy chief operating officer at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, said the trust was maximising its theatre and diagnostic capacity.
Would you like to talk about your experience waiting for treatment? Please email email@example.com