The pandemic has had a hugely negative impact both on the number of elective treatments the NHS has been able to provide in the last two years and on the number of diagnostic tests that have been performed.
In January 2022 it was reported by the NHS that there were 435,000 patients waiting six weeks or more from referral for one of fifteen diagnostic tests1. Whilst a small minority of NHS employees have ideological objections to the use of private providers in the NHS, it is very difficult to see how the diagnostic backlog can be cleared without some private involvement. Private providers can often do the tests, and the reporting, efficiently and at a below the NHS tariff, so it does not cost the Trust more than if the work was done in house.
The Functional Gut Clinic offers a wide range of gastroenterology tests, including oesophageal manometry, pH monitoring, lower GI tests, and at home hydrogen methane breath testing that can be offered to NHS patients on diagnostic waiting lists.
The Functional Gut Clinic already has contracts in place with nine NHS Trusts in England (Figure 1) to provide these services, and the feedback has been very positive. The tests are usually conducted at one of The Functional Gut Clinic’s own CQC registered premises in London, Cambridge, or Manchester, or The Functional Gut Clinic’s team can run clinics at the designated Trust. With the capacity to do up to 20 tests a week, backlogs can quickly be eliminated. The Functional Gut Clinic normally retains about 75% of the NHS tariff to do the tests, reporting, and interpretation by an in-house team of qualified clinical scientists. The 25% of the tariff remaining allows the Trust to cover their staffing and administration costs. Patient confidentiality is key, and all communication is via the NHS’ own email system or secure third-party email services.
Figure 1 – Current Functional Gut Clinic NHS Locations
For more information and to get a quote for diagnostic services, please contact the Functional Gut Clinic via email firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 486 7777