US healthcare group moves into new £1bn London hospital
The Ohio-based Cleveland Clinic is launching its first UK medical centre in an eight-storey, 325,000 sq ft building that overlooks Buckingham Palace in the wealthy neighbourhood of Belgravia.
This is the first big push into the paid-for UK healthcare industry with an investment of £1 billion by the company. It will also be the biggest private hospital in central London after the 206-bed HCA-owned (also American) Wellington when it opens on Tuesday. The Wellington Hospital in St John’s Wood, London is the largest private hospital in the United Kingdom and is owned by the American company, HCA Healthcare.
Cleveland Clinic London will focus on cardiovascular, digestive, neurological and orthopaedic care and aims to partner with the NHS to cut waiting lists and help with the UK’s post-Covid recovery plan. Facilities at the hospital include a pharmacy. The Wellington offers cardiac services, neurosurgery, liver and HPB medicine, rehabilitation, gynaecology, orthopaedics, and other services.
Clevland Clinic adds eight operating theatres and will expand that capacity in central London by 9 per cent, while its 184 inpatient beds will add 14 per cent to capacity. Its 29 intensive care beds mean an increase of 28 per cent.
The FT reports that – It (Cleveland Clinic) is banking on insured or self-funding patients, mostly from the UK. Some will come via the NHS while it estimates about a tenth will be from abroad. Cleveland has hired 1,139 caregivers to staff the hospital, including 270 doctors and 450 nurses, many of whom will also work for the NHS. The company has broken with UK tradition by following the US practice of employing consultants on fixed salaries for their private non-NHS work.
No doubt the current incumbents at Downing Street will include this new hospital within the 40 new hospitals figure promised in 2019.
The clinic signed a 123-year lease on the building, kept the imposing white facade and demolished the rest before beginning construction in 2018. Some analysts suggest the US group has invested as much as £1.3bn on the venture but the clinic declined to confirm that figure.