A PRIVATE hospital has transformed its entire site into an NHS cancer treatment centre in a bid to support patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

BMI The Shelburne Hospital in Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, has overhauled its premises to support Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust by relocating the haematology ward from Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The meant that some of the most vulnerable patients could continue their care while the pandemic pushed the NHS to its limits with emergency cases.

Ten en-suite rooms are being used by NHS patients needing longer-term care, with an extra four rooms available for day case cancer treatments where patients can be discharged the same day.

In the space of a week, essential NHS equipment was installed and a huge team of NHS staff integrated with the BMI team to make sure services were set up and transferred before welcoming patients.

Janet Linacre, lead cancer manager at Bucks Healthcare Trust, said: “At the end of March we met with representatives of BMI The Shelburne, trust estates and contractors, PFI team, IT, nursing and managers and everyone then sprang into action.

“All, without fail, worked 24/7 to ensure we were ready for the patients to be moved – it was a really remarkable joint effort.”

Consultants at the hospital and its sister BMI Chiltern Hospital are also offering remote consultations so patients can have a video call with a doctor from home where possible. This means more patients can still be assessed by a specialist and referred for onward treatment or a scan if needed.

Fraser Dawson, Executive Director at BMI The Shelburne Hospital, said: “Urgent cancer care is time sensitive so I’m very proud of how the team adapted so quickly to the new services being set up.

“Our colleagues at Bucks Healthcare Trust provided fantastic support throughout, so we were quickly able to establish new services.”