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About HCA

Interview with Keith Biddlestone


Keith Biddlestone, Group Commercial Director at HCA International, draws on his experience working with BUPA and CIGNA to give a unique perspective on HCA Hospitals.

Although there is a perception that healthcare needs can be met within the NHS, what many people don't realise is that their PMI is still giving customers faster access to the 'best' care available. HCA's cancer services are excellent examples of this, where patients coming into an HCA hospital or diagnostic centre get to see a leading cancer specialist and can often have a diagnosis and start treatment within 5 days. They also have access to the latest drugs and treatment technology-for example Herceptin was offered privately to patients and funded by BUPA for early breast cancer as soon as the clinical evidence was available, long before it received NICE approval. Audit has revealed excellent clinical outcomes for our patients and our experience in bringing new treatments to the clinic is invaluable as the pace of change in cancer treatment is escalating. This is just one example of how the value of PMI goes well beyond a good clean hospital.

The more prosperous a nation becomes, the higher up the list of priorities healthcare moves. As our economy recovers the trend will be to spend more, not less, on high quality healthcare.

HCA's main focus is acute care and they have shown that they are able to develop the deep clinical infrastructure that you need to support outstanding tertiary care. For many private hospital groups, the cost and complexity of providing intensive care units and leading edge diagnostic and treatment facilities is prohibitive. By contrast, HCA Hospitals is committed to creating the kind of world-class hospital network that will attract the world's top doctors and make us a partner of choice to deliver private services within a number of London's teaching hospitals.

This continued investment has shown results. HCA quality outcomes show that the hospitals outperform the private sector in many key areas of acute care.

Ensuring a patient receives the best possible treatment up-front reduces the chances of a cancer returning and may avoid further treatment. These are important to consider when assessing the potential cost of care. Advances in cancer treatment and outcomes can be mostly attributed to four key factors;

  1. Early diagnosis
  2. More effective treatments
  3. Multi-disciplinary medical teams of skilled people following well defined clinical protocols
  4. Access to experienced cancer doctors using the latest diagnostic and treatment facilities

HCA's cancer services have been designed to deliver on each of these four areas to the highest levels. This includes one-stop clinics, a huge investment in state-of-the-art CT, MRI scanners and other diagnostic technologies and revolutionary new treatments such as the CyberKnife. We believe HCA offers the most state-of-the art technology platform in Europe, so it is not surprising that customers travel from all over the UK, and the rest of the world, to be treated in one of our hospitals.

Hospitals should be creative and flexible in adapting their services to meet the needs of a London-based workforce. For example, HCA Hospitals offers a number of direct to patient services which reflect the lifestyles, work pressures and geographical location of our patient population. We have 11 outpatient centres around Greater London giving access to hospital services in more convenient locations. These centres offer flexible clinic times such as evenings and lunchtimes and one-stop clinics for faster diagnosis and treatments. We also help patients to get fast access to treatment through our dedicated Urgent Care Centre in the West End.

Large corporate employers can also sign up for Platinum Choice Benefits which offers a range of complimentary extras while in hospital as well as discounts on popular self-pay treatments such as IVF, obstetrics and cosmetic surgery.

Research conducted by HCA shows that the 'checklist' depends on the seriousness of the condition. Patients want to know that they are getting to see a top doctor - they want to know about patient outcomes - and that they are going to get 'the best possible treatment'.

Equally, they want to be in a clean hospital, with excellent amenities. They want their treatment to be delivered with no fuss or hassle and minimum disruption to family and work.

Without giving too much away to our competitors, look forward to more investment in world-class facilities across our main areas of acute care, cancer, cardiology, neurology, liver (HPB) and paediatrics.

Our HCA NHS Ventures company will be continuing our collaboration with teaching hospitals and building on our success with UCH and The Christie Hospital where we are creating private patient units within NHS centres of excellence to deliver the optimum patient experience - the best of both worlds.

The Harley Street Clinic
The Lister Hospital
The Lister Fertility Clinic
London Bridge Hospital
The Portland Hospital
The Princess Grace Hospital
Wellington hospital
HCA Healthcare UK at The Shard
The Harley Street Clinic Children's Hospital
Harley Street Queens
Harley Street at University College Hospital
The Christie Clinic
Sarah Cannon Research UK
Blossoms Healthcare
HCA Laboratories
Roodlane Medical
The Wilmslow Hospital
Galen Health Partners
The London Gamma Knife Centre at St Bartholomew's
HCA Healthcare UK

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Registered Name: HCA International Limited; The part of the UK in which it is registered: England and Wales;
Registered Number: 03020522; Registered Office Address: 242 Marylebone Road London NW1 6JL.