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HCA International ~ Framework for Clinical Governance

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HCA is the world’s largest independent healthcare provider. In the UK, HCA International offers expert clinical care across an extensive rage of specialties at six leading London Hospitals each of which attracts world-class physicians and consultants from London’s eminent teaching hospitals.

London has long been recognized as a centre of medical excellence and HCA owns and operates The Harley Street Clinic, The Lister Hospital, London Bridge Hospital, The Portland Hospital for Women and Children, The Princess Grace Hospital and The Wellington Hospital.

With an international reputation for the excellence of its services the HCA International Hospitals provide easy access to the most extensive range of high quality medical and surgical care available in the private healthcare sector.

Over 3,000 consultants from London’s prestigious teaching hospitals, covering a wide range medical and surgical specialities, admit their private patients to HCA International’s hospitals.  With their support and through our continuous investment in modern facilities, the latest technological advances, and specialized staff, we have become leaders in many areas including cardiac care, cancer, neuro surgery and neuro rehabilitation, paediatrics, orthopaedics, ENT, liver transplant, assisted conception and women’s health to name a few.

HCA’s continuous investment program ensures that that all our hospitals are equipped with the latest surgical and medical technology. We treat patients from all around the world and are experienced in meeting cultural and dietary needs of patients from many countries.

To ensure the highest standards of medical practice are implemented and adhered to, HCA International has created a Framework for Clinical Governance.  This provides for an effective medical advisory programme and system for improving performance, based on the monitoring of medical outcomes and processes.

This has resulted in national awards for achieving gold standard quality in healthcare and outcome data that outperforms some of London’s most recognized acute hospitals.

The ‘HCA Quality Report’ shows how the hospital group performed in comparison to its rivals, confirming that they out-perform some of London’s leading NHS acute hospitals. In publishing this data HCA believe that it would help position them as a hospital of choice for acute medical procedures within the private healthcare market.

Having invested more than £100m to become the top group of choice it now appears that this is being reflected in the successful outcome data, which has been made public in response to increased demand from private medical insurers, advisors and patients to have more information about quality of care.

Most independent healthcare providers must be registered by law with the United Kingdom’s (UK) Healthcare commission, the independent regulator of healthcare in England, so that they can ensure that independent providers are meeting the Government’s minimum national standard.

Until recently independent hospitals were not required to provide outcome data, as HCA have been routinely collecting data for years as part of their internal quality programs and by making this data public ensure that patients are able to make informed choices regarding the quality of care and outcomes they can expect to receive at a HCA hospital.

With MRSA and Surgical Site Infections (SSI’s) still an area of grave concern in the UK National Health Service (NHS), HCA were the first private group to submit data to the Health Protection Agency and are now audited the same way as the NHS.

MRSA rates are one of the seven key standard clinical performance indicators that must be reported to the UK Healthcare Commission by independent hospitals.   With all patients being screened before being admitted as day case or inpatients it is estimated that a patient is six times less likely to contract MRSA in any of their hospitals.

Of four key surgical procedures that HCA have collected data on since 1997 and supplied to the Health Protection Agency Surgical Site Infection Surveillance Service (SSISS), they highlight that they are dramatically below the national average. The data based on combined accurate data for ALL hospitals shows that infection rates for coronary artery bypasses alone was half the national average. While the rate for hip surgery is seven times lower than the national average.

Over 30,000 people undergo heart surgery in the UK each year and understanding the benefits and the risks associated with the different types of heart surgery is vitally important. In April 2006, the Healthcare Commission, and the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland, launched a portal to help patients in need of heart surgery make informed choices about their care and treatment.

The portal included predicted and actual survival rates for various types of cardiac surgery. The only private hospitals to provide their outcome data were HCA’s three Cardiac Units – The Harley Street Clinic, London Bridge Hospital and The Wellington Hospital. All of which have recently been granted Centre of Excellence status for their services (source: Granted by the Clinical Cardiovascular Management Network in association with HCA’s Quality, Safety and Performance Improvement HQ)

The outstanding clinical quality of the HCA services has spread wide and far and since the 1970’s many international patients have travelled to London for specialist patient care. The International Patient Center (IPC) was established to exclusively cater to the medical needs of these clients, including expatriates, tourists and patients from abroad.

The IPC offers an advisory service and provides a one stop service for rapid appointments, urgent admissions and facilitates access to the HCA hospitals and doctors for all international patients.

With offices in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Nigeria, Greece, Cyprus, Libya, Egypt, HCA offers an extensive network of access points for the medical tourist.

To date, over 1 million patients from more than 127 countries have benefited from the excellent care of our IPC coordinators who are ready at all times to assist overseas visitors in overcoming language and culture barriers during their visits at the Hospital.

In 2008, HCA International joined the Medical Tourism Association recognising the emergence a new industry that makes every individual a potential patient. In 2009 HCA will continue to work in their traditional medical tourism markets, but will also look for expansion in countries where high quality specialised medical services at an affordable price are needed.

HCA are particularly interested in the work of the MTA’s Quality Indicator Project and in establishing easy ways for the patient to assess the quality and outcomes of clinical care across a wide range of providers in a variety of different countries. This will be no easy task!

However, HCA are not only interested in the medical tourist travelling to London. HCA have a commitment to help and support the local communities where we work. In the international communities, HCA sponsor continuing medical education (CME) conferences and workshops, sharing knowledge and expertise with the medical communities of those with less well developed health systems as well as supporting a wide range of charitable events.

More information about the services available at HCA International, please contact Elizabeth Boultbee, Head of International Business, P +44 797 977 0430 or on

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