An independent hospital in Oxfordshire says it is 'busier than ever' as it helps to treat NHS waiting list patients from the across the surrounding counties during the pandemic.

The The New Foscote Hospital has treated over 3,000 patients on behalf of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust since the start of the coronavirus crisis, leading to a 'significant' reduction in waiting lists for elective operations at the county's acute hospitals.

The hospital is being used for scheduled general, oral and vascular access surgeries, as well as outpatient clinics, endoscopy, ultrasound and pre-surgery COVID testing. They are still running private clinics concurrently in all specialties.

Professor Kaveh Shakib, Medical Director at The New Foscote, said it is 'absolutely vital' that it is seen as part of the local healthcare system.

He said: "The last year has been a heart-warming example of how the NHS and private sector can work together for the benefit of patients. Our staff have felt a real sense of pride at being a part of the global efforts and we have provided as much capacity as the NHS has asked for, in order to assist them.”

“We are committed to helping the NHS and will continue to do so whilst they need us”.

The hospital on Foscote Rise has 12 en-suite bedrooms, one operating theatre, an oral surgery suite, endoscopy suite, MRI and diagnostic imaging, and an outpatients department which includes physiotherapy.

The hospital remains a “green site” (which means it has taken the most stringent measures to keep the site covid-free) due to the types of surgery taking place there. Every surgical patient is required to attend for a PCR swab three days beforehand so at the time they are admitted for surgery the hospital can be sure they are covid-negative.

Staff are tested twice a week, and only essential visitors such as maintenance contractors and those supporting patients who are immobile or incapacitated are allowed inside the building – even then, they must be lateral flow tested and wait outside for their result. There are hard stops at every entrance with handwashing facilities and medical masks, and social distancing is rigorously enforced.