Private Mulberry ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to close, Trust has confirmed

Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital. - Credit: Archant

A private healthcare ward based at Hinchingbrooke Hospital will be closing, it has been confirmed.

The North West Anglia Foundation Trust, which manages Hinchingbrooke Hospital, has said it will not be taking on new admissions at the Mulberry Suite in an effort to ensure space at the hospital is used "in the best way".

The Mulberry Suit was opened in 1994 and quickly became known for providing high quality services within the hospital.

In 2008 the suite was reconfigured into Mulberry private healthcare offering private ensuite bedrooms.

The unit also allowed patients who have their operation through the NHS to pay for a private room.

Currently, the money raised through Mulberry goes directly to the Trust's finances to support improvements within the hospital.

Graham Wilde, chief operating officer for the Trust said: "Mulberry Private Healthcare Unit is in the process of closing to new admissions.

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He continued: "As a Trust we have been looking at the space around our hospital site, including Mulberry Ward, to ensure that we use it in the best possible way, especially over the busy winter period to provide additional capacity.

The news comes just a week after the North West Anglia Foundation Trust was told by the Care Quality Commission inspectors that it needs to improve.

CQC inspections were carried at Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford and Rutland hospitals, which are all managed by the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT), between July and September 2019.

As a result, the trust was rated Requires Improvement overall.

Its previous overall rating was also Requires Improvement, following an inspection in 2018.

In addition to its overall rating, NWAFT is rated Requires Improvement for whether its services are safe, effective, responsive and well-led.

But inspectors gave the Trust a Good rating for whether its services are caring.

Caroline Walker, chief executive for the Trust told The Hunts Post last week: "While we know the outcome of this report as Requires Improvement is disappointing for our board and for many of our staff, we will use this as a good source of information to progress our continuous improvement."