Campaigners urge NHS trust to scrap manager role for private care
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A campaign group has called on an NHS trust to scrap a management role for its private provision and spend the money on NHS patients instead.
Earlier this year, Barts Health NHS Trust advertised for a £45,000-a-year private patient site manager to "lead the development" of private patient activity at the Gateway Surgical Centre, located in the grounds of Newham Hospital.
Newham Save Our NHS spokesperson Rosamund Mykura said: "The £45,000 a year cost of a full-time manager on NHS pay and conditions advertised by Barts should be spent to benefit NHS beds and NHS patients instead."
A Barts Health spokesperson said the manager will support private care across three of the trust's hospitals - Newham, The Royal London and Whipps Cross.
They added: "We are dedicated to providing the best possible care for all our patients when they need it, regardless of whether they are private patients or not."
The Gateway Centre is a standalone facility run by Barts Health.
On its website, Barts say the centre "boasts some of the most innovative and modern diagnostic and surgical facilities available anywhere in the world".
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The 39-bed centre offers day-care, elective surgery and features three operating theatres.
Newham Save Our NHS said beds for private patients at the Gateway Centre should be "given back" to NHS patients.
Rosamund told the Recorder the group is calling on Barts "to use all their beds at Newham Hospital for NHS patients and to use all their NHS staff to develop the hospital according to NHS principles".
She added: "In the NHS, care must be given according to need not according to the patient's ability to pay.
"It is morally wrong that Newham residents who need a bed in the Gateway Centre at Newham Hospital lose out to those who can pay to jump the queue and go into the private patients suite."
The Barts spokesperson said the two beds in the private patients suite at the centre "can and will" be used for NHS patients if additional beds are required.
“We are not currently providing private care at the Gateway Surgical Centre," they said.
"When private care is provided by Barts Health NHS Trust, the income generated is reinvested back into the trust."