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Sulis Hospital Bath

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Sulis Hospital celebrates first anniversary of unique partnership with The Royal United Hospital NHS Trust.

June 2022 marks the first anniversary of Sulis Hospital in Bath, acknowledged for providing outstanding levels of patient care, and twelve years of new thinking in healthcare.

Left to right: Jeremy Boss, Chair Sulis Hospital & Non-Exec Director RUH, Bernie Marden, Medical Director RUH & Simon Milner, Hospital Director Sulis Hospital

Sulis Hospital, formerly known as Circle Bath prior to the Royal United Hospital acquisition, continues to offer the same high standards of care for both private and NHS patients.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a heightened appreciation for health and wellbeing, reinforcing the need to re-evaluate healthcare environments. The revolutionary Sulis Hospital embraces and uses nature in its built environment to enhance wellbeing and improve recovery times for patients. Originally designed by Foster and Partners, the hospital’s inherently flexible design has allowed the building to adapt to the changing needs of covid safe pathways and continue to deliver a holistic approach to healthcare.

Sulis Hospital is one of the first private hospitals in the UK where 100% of the shares are owned by an NHS Trust. The hospital’s private patient care model benefits all by allowing any additional income, earned through private care, to be reinvested in high-quality services for all patients at the two hospitals, Sulis and the RUH. The acquisition by the RUH has grown the hospital’s services, increasing capacity for both NHS and private patients. This is particularly important at a time of recovery for NHS waiting lists nationally.

Simon Milner, Hospital Director Sulis Hospital said: “This is a new way of thinking in healthcare, benefiting all. Collaboration with the RUH NHS Trust has excellent benefits. The true value of our ability to preserve and contribute towards the NHS while at the same time offering the same high level of private patient care is being realised. We benefit in terms of governance and best practice while at the same time creating extra capacity to treat NHS patients.

“Our vision is to drive innovation in healthcare, transforming how patients are diagnosed, treated, and rehabilitated. Nationally acclaimed consultant surgeons choose to see and treat patients at Sulis Hospital because we’re different, attracting patients from around the UK. Sulis Hospital offers over 350 treatments across 40 different specialities from cardiology to orthopaedic and ophthalmology to general surgery. A combination of new surgical techniques, including robotic hip and knee surgery, and advances in anaesthesia has led to a shift to same day surgery for common procedures facilitating a faster recovery for our patients.”

Cara Charles-Barks, Chief Executive Royal United Hospital said: “The RUH and Sulis have a long-established positive relationship highlighted in 2020 when Sulis Hospital provided a COVID secure environment for RUH elective and cancer patients. The collaborative approach has helped cut NHS waiting times not just at the RUH but across Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire with over 1,000 NHS patients waiting for over 2 years, being seen and treated at Sulis over the past 12 months, taking them off the waiting list.”

Tessa Cox, private patient at Sulis Hospital said: “I chose to be seen and treated at Sulis Hospital privately as I didn’t want to wait, however I was also aware that by opting to go private I was making space on the NHS waiting list for someone else. What I hadn’t realised but am delighted to understand is that as Sulis Hospital is owned by the Royal United Hospital any profits go back into the local health economy supporting both hospitals. It means I was contributing to the NHS not taking from it. This really is unique.”

As well as always maintaining a positive culture Sulis Hospital benefits from one of the best clinician-to-patient ratios around. Staff benefits include competitive salaries, annual pay awards, life assurance, private healthcare, flexible working opportunities, and a commitment to supporting professional and personal development. In the 2022 staff survey, staff demonstrated high levels of staff engagement especially around role clarity, trust, and teamwork.