Practice Plus Group Hospital, Plymouth, first opened its doors to NHS patients on 25th April 2005. From the very outset, the hospital was popular with patients. Of the 300 who were the first to be offered treatment there, 297 were accepted. The hospital began by offering orthopaedic treatments and surgery, but over the years the offering has expanded to include cataract surgery in Plymouth, general surgery and endoscopy treatments.
Since 2005 tens of thousands of NHS patients from across Devon and Cornwall have received treatment at Plymouth Hospital, which to this day maintains a 100 per cent infection-free track record (it is currently a COVID-secure clinical environment) as well as thousands of plaudits from satisfied patients. It was the first hospital of its kind to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
The hospital has also seen significant investment during this period, including an additional operating theatre, endoscopy suite and day theatre.
As well as treating NHS patients, in 2018 the hospital introduced a self-pay healthcare option for patients who do not wish to wait any longer for treatment or who had been told that the care they need is no longer available on the NHS. It is an option, which is proving especially popular with people who run their own businesses, or whose work and/or life commitments mean it is important to be able to plan when their surgery takes place.
The first patient to receive treatment at the hospital was Mr. Tom Dart, 84, from Carkeel. He arrived in the Outpatient Department on 25th April 2005 for an assessment for a knee arthroscopy and came in for his operation on 3rd May.
Back in 2005 Mr. Dart was a keen golfer who injured his knee while playing his favourite sport. He was keen to get back to the links full time, which is why he leapt at the chance to receive knee surgery at what was Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre.
At the time he said:
“I’m delighted to be patient number one. I have been impressed with the standard of treatment on this first day. The hospital is very clean and modern, and the staff have been absolutely wonderful. I have had all my tests in one go – a full ECG, a blood test, heart test and what have you – and I have met all the doctors, anaesthetists and physiotherapists who will be treating me, who have all explained to me what will happen. I am looking forward to being back on the golf course at full fitness sooner than I originally thought, thanks to being seen quicker at the Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre.”
Fast-forward 15 years, and Mr Dart said: “It was an honour to be the first patient at this hospital, which has such a good reputation in the area. We wish them well for the 15th anniversary.”
Mark White, Hospital Director at Practice Plus Group Hospital Plymouth, commented: “We should have celebrated our 15th anniversary in April, but at that time our focus was on supporting the local NHS to ensure NHS patients received the care they needed. This remains our focus, as well as a commitment to treating patients who have waited for their care because of the pandemic. We were at least able to celebrate with some cake.”