Private matters: how our unique care model works
Richard Schorstein, Private Care Matron, chats with a patient
Our unique partnership between The Royal Marsden’s NHS and Private Care services ensures that we can offer all patients the highest standard of environment and facilities and continue to be worldwide leaders in the field of cancer care.
The private service has grown at The Royal Marsden over the past five years, and this has seen many benefits for the whole hospital – from our patients to our staff. Private Care is essentially paid-for treatment, opening up the hospital’s expertise to patients from overseas and the UK who are able to fund their own care.
Being treated privately offers a patient more choice over their consultant, more flexibility in appointment times and dedicated Private Care facilities.
Revenue generated by Private Care is reinvested into the hospital and allows development in leading-edge services – for example, the hospital’s robotic surgery programme and the extension of the radiology service’s opening hours, both of which benefit all patients enormously.
Private Care enables us to invest in the NHS – in the people, the services, the kit and the research
Shams Maladwala, Private Care Managing Director, explains: “Private Care enables us to invest in the NHS – in the people, the services, the kit and the research. This allows the Trust to achieve the amazing care it’s known for, and it is a phenomenal model of social enterprise. All aspects of the business work together – Private Care, NHS, education and research – and we invest everything back in to improve the quality of care within the Trust as a whole.
“Everyone in Private Care has a role to play to support and sustain these services. One of our key messages to the Private Care team is that we work collaboratively with the NHS teams, and need each other to develop and grow in this challenging environment. The NHS is an integral part of the private business, as are private patients to the NHS.”
Shams believes that Private Care also helps the hospital to attract the best in clinical staff and researchers. He says: “It’s important for our consultants, as they are able to build their private businesses in addition to continuing with their NHS work. It works for them from an efficiency point of view, as they can do both from the same place.”
Dr Susana Banerjee is a Consultant Medical Oncologist and Research Lead for the Gynaecology Unit, and has both NHS and private practices based at the hospital. She says: “I believe the NHS and Private Care mode works very well at The Royal Marsden. I can see all my patients at one institution, which means I can spend more time at the hospital undertaking my research work, and this ultimately directly benefits all groups of patients.”
Maureen Carruthers, Divisional Nurse Director for Private Care, says that this model also attracts a high calibre of nursing staff who appreciate the benefits of belonging to a nationally and internationally renowned team while working in a hospital where both NHS and private services work in harmony.
She explains: “All Royal Marsden nurses have exactly the same education and training, and benefit from the on-site education facilities provided by The Royal Marsden School of Nursing. Our nurses gain satisfaction not only by providing compassionate care for private patients, often many miles from their homes, but also from the knowledge that the revenue received is reinvested into the NHS to enhance care for all Royal Marsden patients.”