NHS collaborates with private healthcare to deliver cancer care in Covid-19

Leonie discusses her treatment with Dr James Dilley, sub-specialty fellow in gynaecology

Leonie discusses her treatment with Dr James Dilley, sub-specialty fellow in gynaecology oncology at Barts and the Royal London. - Credit: The North East London Cancer Alliance

The NHS has been working "more closely than ever before" with private healthcare providers across north east London to keep up with cancer treatments during the pandemic.  

Barking and Dagenham, City and Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets CCGs have been collaborating with private sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic when the NHS and its staff has been under “immense pressure”.  

The North East London Cancer Alliance has worked with NHS trusts and independent sectors to create "much-needed extra capacity" to deliver essential cancer services.  

According to the alliance, the “successful” collaboration has worked with BMI Healthcare to secure capacity at the London Independent Hospital in Stepney Green, The London Clinic in Harley Street and King Edward VII’s Hospital in Marylebone.  

Interim managing director of the alliance, Ivor Baker, said that cancer services have been able to continue running thanks to the creation of a “cancer hub” at BMI The London Independent Hospital, near the Royal London Hospital, where they can carry out colorectal, spinal and gynae cancer surgery.  

Further capacity at The London Clinic for complex cancer work - including “gynae, hepato pancreatic biliary, interventional radiology and complex colorectal” - has also been secured.  

Chief medical officer for the North East Cancer Alliance, Angela Wong, said: “The teams from all three of our local providers (Barts Health; Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT); and Homerton University Hospital) have been working more closely than ever before with the independent sector so we can continue to treat our local people.  

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“A lot of hard work has gone into making this a successful clinical collaboration, which we look forward to building on in the future.” 

Throughout the pandemic, independent hospital The London Clinic has cared for women with gynaecological cancers requiring urgent treatment.  

An NHS patient receiving treatment at the clinic, Leonie Lonton, said: “It wasn’t a good time to find out during Covid that something was wrong.  

“What I wanted was treatment and I’m delighted to say that I have been able to receive this at The London Clinic, with really fantastic people looking after me.   

“Teams from the NHS and The London Clinic are working so collaboratively – it’s very reassuring and the care is second to none.” 

Surgeon Sas Banerjee at BHRUT, said that all of its hospitals are “green Covid-protected sites” and patients who attend will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days before accessing the services.