London’s second-biggest private hospital facility was opened earlier this month, in the refurbished eight-storey, 325,000 square foot headquarters of a former utilities company.
The opening of the latest Cleveland Clinic, owned by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation headquartered in Ohio, USA, comes at a time when the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is struggling to cope with staff shortages and waiting lists made worst by the pandemic. Consultants at the 184-bed Cleveland Hospital have promised to ‘take up the slack’ where possible. An outpatient clinic has been operating nearby for some time, at 24 Portland Place on London’s famous Harley Street.
Intraoperative imaging for brain and spinal operations
The Cleveland Clinic London has 29 intensive care beds and eight operating theatres. The neurosurgical theatre is twice the size of a typical theatre. It incorporates an MRI scanner to help surgeons confirm tumour removal during operations on the brain or the spinal cord. This should lead to a reduced need for follow-up operations.
In addition to neurology, the hospital, based at 33 Grosvenor Square, will specialise in cardiology, orthopaedics and digestive care. Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are particularly proud of their transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), a minimally invasive procedure which can replace a narrowed aortic valve in a patient’s heart. Cleveland Clinic is recognised as the leading clinical setting for heart and vascular treatment in the USA – an accolade they have enjoyed for the past quarter of a century.
Pharmacy robot prepares drug prescriptions
Another innovative aspect of care at the Cleveland Clinic London is the hospital’s pharmacy robot. The machine is capable of laser-cutting strips of tablets and adding a barcode. The strips are then given to patients via an automatic dispensing facility.
Around 270 consultants are expected to be employed by the Cleveland Clinic London. Many of them may also work in the NHS and will dedicate a couple of days a week to the clinic. It is believed that some consultants will be offered fixed salaries of around £350,000 at the Cleveland Clinic London. Up to 450 nurses will be placed at the hospital, with half coming from the Cleveland Clinic’s other facilities and from hospitals in the UK.
Working in ‘partnership’ with the NHS
To avoid adding to staffing pressures on the NHS, administrators at the Cleveland Clinic are working in partnership to train 150 student nurses. They have also agreed to have neurology PhD students and junior doctors in the wards to gain expertise.
Patients at the Cleveland Clinic London will pay for their own treatment or reclaim costs through private medical insurance. Some patients will be sponsored by embassies from overseas countries such as Kuwait and Qatar. The Cleveland Clinic foundation itself is a non-profit enterprise with no shareholders. All profits are ploughed back into the research and the development of healthcare.
Celebrating more than a century of healthcare
The first-ever Cleveland Clinic was started in Ohio in 1921 when four former World War One doctors teamed up to provide local healthcare. Today the Cleveland Clinic Foundation runs 22 hospitals and 226 outpatient centres around the world. The biggest medical base is in Ohio, where 55,629 caregivers are employed. There are 10,444 staff in Florida, 4,964 employees in Abu Dhabi, 1,139 in London and 329 employees in Toronto’s executive and sports health facilities. Meanwhile, around 157 medically trained staff provide care in Nevada at the Cleveland Centre for Brain Health.
Cleveland Clinic has celebrated many medical breakthroughs over the decades, including the first face transplant in the USA and a breakthrough in coronary artery bypass surgery.
London’s largest private hospital at present is The Wellington in St John’s Wood, also owned by an American company (HCA). The new Cleveland Clinic brings the total number of private hospitals in the capital to 19, and it is expected to draw more medical tourists to the UK.
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