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Cleveland Clinic: US hospital in London could tempt doctors away from NHS – experts

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An American healthcare group that plans to open its first hospital in Britain will employ its own doctors in a move that experts have warned could result in a rise of medics moving permanently to the private sector.

In September, Cleveland Clinic will open a six-story outpatient centre in Marylebone, near Harley Street in London.

They also plan to open a 184-bed general hospital next spring, which will be one of the largest private hospitals in central London. The company is recruiting for 1,250 staff roles.

It said that it had been inundated with applications and had already signed up 200 consultants on part-time, fixed salaries, the Financial Times reports.

Experts warn that the recruitment could result in an exodus of NHS-trained doctors moving to the private sector.

Ted Townsend, from the healthcare consultancy LaingBuisson, told the FT that there was already competition among private hospitals.

“Consultants are increasingly moving around and some of the busy ones are being poached with substantial financial offers, a bit like rainmakers in investment banking.”

Dr Brian Donley, chief executive of the Cleveland Clinic London, said that it wanted to “combine the best of the US and UK models, reinventing the private sector model with a consultant-led approach”.

He stated that hiring consultants on fixed employment contracts reduced the chance of unnecessary procedures. “If there’s a salary there’s no reward or incentive for me to do more surgery,” Mr Donley said. “The key is the fixed rate as that drives teamwork.”

Cleveland Clinic handles almost six million patients a year in 19 hospitals and 220 outpatient facilities.

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