Peninsula Heart Clinic (PHC) is an innovative partnership between University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) and an independent company called Regent’s Park Healthcare (RPH). The partnership between the two organisations is based around a common desire to deliver service innovation by focusing on four key objectives: 1) shorten patient access times; 2) deliver excellent healthcare at reduced cost; 3) improve patient experience; and 4) improve clinical outcomes. UHP currently has long patient waiting times for elective cardiac catheter lab procedures which in some cases exceed 12 months. The partnership enables UHP to outsource routine NHS activity to PHC allowing UHP consultant cardiologists to perform cardiac procedures on their own NHS patients. All other clinical and administration staff are provided by RPH, and importantly, PHC adheres to local UHP Trust policies and procedures. PHC is therefore a fully managed healthcare facility by RPH and from an orgnisational and operational perspective, becomes an extension of the existing cardiology department. From a strategic perspective, the split of elective cases, allows the NHS to focus on emergency and higher risk patients which would otherwise interupt patient scheduling and lead to routine cases being cancelled.
The location of PHC alongside the South West Regional Cardiothoracic Centre within Derriford hospital was carefully chosen. This co-location alongside the Trust allows immediate, on-site access to cardiac surgeons, anaesthetists and critical care facilities should they be needed. It also all ensures PHC is able to adhere to all national clinical guidelines for coronary stenting and device implantation, as well as participate in national and local audits with UHP – this ensures safety and drives quality.
To our knowledge, this is the first time anywhere in the NHS that this type of partnership approach has been deployed, namely inviting an independent company to co-locate itself alongside a major NHS cardiothoracic centre to provide fully managed cardiology services to improve operational productivity and performance.