PRIVATE patients at Hinchingbrooke Hospital once again have their own facilities…and free parking for themselves and visitors. The facilities replace the Mulberry Suite, which was the hospital s private facility until early in 2008 when it was converted i
PRIVATE patients at Hinchingbrooke Hospital once again have their own facilities...and free parking for themselves and visitors.
The facilities replace the Mulberry Suite, which was the hospital's private facility until early in 2008 when it was converted into an isolation ward - a move made more urgent by repeated outbreaks of norovirus ("winter vomiting") infections.
Last week the hospital launched Mulberry Private Healthcare, which it says is "a newly modernised and updated private patient facility, offering the advantages of private health care with the support and facilities of a well-equipped NHS hospital".
The scheme is run by the NHS for private patients, using Hinchingbrooke's facilities and staff. All of the money raised through the scheme put back into the hospital.
What that means is that paying patients get exclusive use of a new private reception lounge - "a business-style check-in meet and greet reception area for private patients, visitors and their relatives, a consulting room and an office".
"In addition to this, for in-patients we offer bright, spacious and comfortable private en suite bedrooms on the specialist wards within Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the purpose-built state-of-the-art treatment centre. Facilities in each bedroom include a radio, telephone, a flat-screen television with Freeview and a wardrobe."
Pampered patients also get up to £5-worth of telephone calls a day, a newspaper, a wider range of food and free parking for themselves and their visitors, while most folk fork out £2.60 for up to three hours.
Nursing care is provided by the NHS staff who look after all the patients on their wards.
Ian Weller, Mulberry Private Healthcare general manager, said: "Mulberry Private Healthcare has a turnover target for the 2008/09 financial year of £1million, to be achieved through offering a high standard of personal comfort and quality of care for our self-funded or insurance-funded patients.
"All income from Mulberry Private Healthcare will be used to support improvements for all patients at Hinchingbrooke.