Watchdog group raises concerns about care of NHS patients at private Blackburn hospital (From Blackburn Citizen)
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Watchdog group raises concerns about care of NHS patients at private Blackburn hospital
CONCERNS have been raised about a private hospital after claims that patients treated there under NHS funding received ‘second-class treatment’.
Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said he had received ‘mounting soft intelligence’ about the Beardwood Hospital, in Blackburn, run by healthcare giant BMI. The hospital is private, but also has a £3million contract with the East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to provide some non-emergency NHS care.
More than 1,000 NHS patients have been referred to the hospital since April, for services such as pain management and orthopaedic surgery.
Mr McLean told an NHS board meeting that patients had reported being ‘discharged without any or appropriate dressings’, and seated in communal areas following surgery.
He said one man was almost discharged ‘while still bleeding profusely’, until his wife intervened.
Patients have also alleged they received ‘second-class treatment’ when staff discovered they were funded by the NHS, while capacity problems also have been raised, he said.
A spokesman for BMI Healthcare said the firm had investigated a verbal complaint about a patient’s treatment in a pain management clinic, but was satisfied all procedures in the clinic were ‘safe, appropriate and do not compromise patient dignity’.
He said complaints were rare and no other patients had raised issues about the clinic, adding: “In the most recent independently-conducted patient satisfaction survey, almost 95per cent described their overall care as very good or excellent... NHS pat-ients using the hospital reported almost exactly the same levels of satisfaction with their care.”
Tim Mansfield, chief operating officer at East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “As commissioners of health services, patient safety is our utmost concern.
“Anything that throws this into question is taken extremely seriously. Mr McLean brought his concerns to our attention recently and these have been raised with the Beardwood Hospital, which has responded to our inquiries.
“We are currently considering their response.”
BMI said it charges the same tariffs for NHS patients as an NHS trust would charge for the same services.
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