BMI Mt Alvernia Hospital returns to its maternal origins as part of nationwide response to Covid 19

BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital, in Guildford, has seen a return to its maternal origins during the Covid-19 crisis, as partnerships between the private healthcare provider and the NHS have seen ante-natal and post-natal services established at the hospital.

Prior to the move, Mount Alvernia Hospital was a centre for private elective surgery and oncology care, having originally been established in 1935 as a maternity hospital and run by Franciscan nuns.

The new partnership was enabled through a central NHS initiative, which has seen NHS England block-book all private hospital services, facilities and clinical staff to help cope with the surge of Covid-19 patients. Altogether, this adds an further 10,000 nurses, 700 doctors and 8,000 beds – including the 76 beds and 250 healthcare staff at BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital.

NHS midwives transferred to the private hospital to operate the community service for the Royal Surrey – allowing staff at the Royal Surrey to focus on patients who needed specialist Covid-19 care.

The Royal Surrey also transferred its NHS palliative care service and staff, so that they could look after patients at Mount Alvernia who were at the end of their life.  The team who transferred across included three clinical nurse specialists, a Specialist Registrar and three consultants.  By providing this service Mount Alvernia was able to free up bed capacity within the Trust.

Executive Director Leon Newth said: “We have always formed part of the rich fabric of healthcare in Guildford; being part of this established network has enabled everyone to view our combined services in an holistic way for the benefit of our community. Working together so constructively at this time has been possible because of these relationships, and we are thankful for our immediate and extended healthcare family.

“Whilst traditionally a private independent hospital, we placed ourselves entirely to the NHS from April 2020. This meant our en-suite patient bedrooms, consulting facilities, operating theatres and diagnostic equipment were all made available to our local NHS Trust and NHS England as part of the national response to the pandemic.

Dr Marianne Illsley, Medical Director at Royal Surrey, said: “We have always enjoyed a strong and positive working relationship with our colleagues at Mount Alvernia. This enabled us to quickly work creatively together to continue delivering the care that our patients needed safely and efficiently.

“The BMI Mount Alvernia facility has provided an important and valued part of our response to this pandemic and how we continue delivering high quality care."

“We are grateful for their flexibility and for the way their staff have welcomed our clinicians into their hospital.”

As well as the Guildford healthcare community, BMI Mount Alvernia also worked with its wider BMI Healthcare family, with theatre and portering staff moving from Mount Alvernia to other hospitals and colleagues from BMI Goring Hall and BMI Princess Margaret Hospitals supporting the Guildford teams.

The change in focus for the hospital has meant many of the team supporting outside their regular roles with Allied Health Professionals working as Healthcare Assistants and administration colleagues helping housekeeping teams.

BMI Mount Alvernia now looks to the next stages of support to the Trust, and in continuing to be a part of a strengthened healthcare community in Guildford.

Notes to editors

About BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital is a 76-bed hospital in Harvey Road, Guildford. Led by executive director Leon Newth, the hospital employs approximately 250 healthcare professionals who provide services for NHS patients, for insured patients and for patients who choose to pay for their own care.

About BMI Healthcare

Established in 1970, BMI Healthcare is one of the UK’s largest independent provider of private healthcare with more than 50 hospitals and healthcare facilities in England, Scotland and Wales.

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For more information on this story, contact Nicola Brown, [email protected], 077829 284074 or Lucy Fagan, [email protected]

Date: 29th May 2020