Local patients welcome news that hospital has been saved from closure

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A hospital which carries out almost one in five of the hip and knee replacement operations in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire region will be available to NHS patients for another 30 years thanks to a ground breaking new arrangement which will allow Care UK to continue to run the Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre.

Six months ago the future of this popular hospital was looking bleak when the original five-year contract came to an end and there was even speculation in the local media that the Barlborough Treatment Centre would have to close. The hospital, located near Chesterfield only serves NHS patients.

However, Care UK has successfully bid for a lease on its building which means that it will be able to continue to offer operations to NHS patients. Care UK is so confident that a good number of local people and their GPs will choose Barlborough for their operations that it will run the centre with no guarantee of income from the local PCTs. It will be paid on a procedure-by-procedure basis and at the same cost that an NHS-run hospital would receive.

Care UK’s Managing Director of Health Care Mark Hunt said: “We are enormously proud of our record of delivering the very highest standards of care and we know from customer satisfaction levels and feedback that there is a very strong demand for our service at Barlborough. We fought hard to be part of the continuing provision of real choice for patients in this part of the country and are delighted that we have been announced as the preferred tenant.”

The new lease also means that over 120 jobs at Barlborough have been saved. General Manager Graeme Kendall who was at the centre of negotiations with the local NHS was delighted to receive the news. He said: “When 99% of your patients say that they would recommend you to a friend or relative and when the threat of closure prompts over 4,000 former patients to pledge their support for keeping the hospital open, you know that you have a viable hospital. My team is confident that we can make a success of this groundbreaking new model.”

Subject to the terms of the lease being agreed and the relevant paperwork being completed, Barlborough will start the new lease within the next few weeks. Under the new arrangements, Care UK will bear any of the financial risks and NHS patients will continue to enjoy a centre that enjoys unparalleled patient satisfaction levels and one which has never had a case of hospital acquired MRSA or C. difficile.

After the future of Barlborough was placed in doubt, many patients campaigned to keep Barlborough open. Over 4,000 former patients offered their support while others lobbied the local MPS and PCT bosses. One supporter was Melody Austin from Derby who had her knee replaced in January 2010 and his having her other knee replaced in July: "The news is absolutely brilliant, I'm so happy. I couldn't have asked for better care and I am not nervous about coming back for a second operation in the summer. I'm so very happy for all of the Centre's staff and future patients who will now be able to experience the excellent treatment and care at Barlbrough".

 

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