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Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 16:09 GMT
NHS goes private to cut queues
The Hammersmith Hospital, whose NHS trust managers will be running the private service
It will mean 112 operations a week can take place
The NHS has revealed it has leased a private hospital in a drive to cut waiting times for operations.

The health service will take over the former Stamford Hospital in Chiswick, west London, offering a seven-day service.

GPs and hospitals throughout London will be able to refer patients to the clinic, which will be managed through Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust.

Trust chief executive, Derek Smith, said: "It means that planned operations can be guaranteed without risk of being cancelled in favour of emergency cases."

Staff transfers

Orthopaedic surgery services will be available to out-patients as well as in-patients.

Sean Hughes, clinical director and professor of orthopaedic surgery at Hammersmith Hospital said: "It means that within weeks we will be able to carry out 112 planned operations a week, which would not otherwise have been possible in the NHS locally.

"When the hospital is fully up and running we plan to treat some 7,000 patients a year."

It is hoped staff already working at the Stamford Hospital, which currently occupies the site will transfer to the new facility that will be open for NHS patients within three months.

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See also:

15 Jan 02 | Health
Anger at major NHS overhaul
03 Sep 01 | ppp
NHS's private plans
08 Aug 01 | Health
NHS buys private heart hospital
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