Opening our doors

In late 2016 and early 2017, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust let in the BBC cameras and featured in the acclaimed documentary series Hospital. The experience gave us an incredible opportunity to tell the story of life in a complex NHS Trust.

orking with documentary makers Label One and the BBC was an exciting opportunity for

our hospitals although naturally it wasn’t an easy decision to make. The Trust ultimately decided that it was a chance to show the great care all our staff and hospitals provide, as well as the innovation and commitment. It meant being able to show the growing challenges faced by the NHS, especially how organisations like ours can best work with patients and partners to

respond to changing needs and demands. It was also a chance for us to show how our private practice works in partnership with our NHS service for the benefit of all. The resulting series was the culmination of months of research, engagement and shadowing followed by over six weeks of often 24/7 filming, and then checking and editing.

CANCER TREATMENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT One episode in particular put Imperial Private Healthcare in the spotlight. It featured three patients as they received


“The response to the episode was

extremely positive,” said director of private healthcare, Nick Fox. “It handled an emotional subject really sensitively. I think it helped people to understand that although the NHS is a tremendous organisation it cannot afford to fund everything. By providing private healthcare our NHS Trust can offer something additional to our patients if they need it. We are able to offer the best of both worlds.”

Professor Christina Fotopoulou, one of the Imperial Private Healthcare consultants featured in the series The View

CHALLENGING PERCEPTIONS OF PRIVATE CARE The programme also provided an insight into the financial reasons behind the Trust’s decision to offer private healthcare. While it accounts for only five per cent of the Trust’s work, all of the £50 million income a year generated by Imperial Private Healthcare comes

Issue 2

treatment for cancer using a mix of NHS and private health services – both provided by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. One wanted to try a drug that has not yet been fully proven to be effective for their type of cancer, a second wanted a drug that had not yet been deemed affordable for the NHS for their stage of treatment and a third simply wanted to make use of years of private health insurance payments to have part of her care provided in private facilities. Each case highlighted the diverse reason patients have for choosing private care.

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