Mother and daughter team patient liaison at popular hospital

Mother and daughter team Paula Thompson and Kirsty Heiss have been appointed by popular hospital Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, to manage its growing number of patients who are choosing to pay for their care.

Paula has a background in the health care sector, with many years’ experience in communicating with patients. She trained as a dental nurse and combined her skills with the role of receptionist at dental practices in Saltash and Chelsfield in Kent. She then became a district carer and nurse with Home Life Carers, following which she set up her own business for laser tattoo removal. Since May last year she has been a patients’ receptionist at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre.

Paula’s daughter, Kirsty Heiss, is a recent graduate with a BA Hons degree in Marketing. While at university she worked for National Express covering activities such as ticketing, operations, administration, customer service, volunteering and charity fundraising. She has an active interest in supporting charities and last year she ran the Plymouth Half Marathon.

As well as taking on the joint role of Hospital Private Patient Coordinator, Paula continues her role as receptionist and Kirsty is working on marketing activities for the hospital.

Said Kirsty: “Mum and I are delighted to share this role. We enjoy working with each other as we already have a good relationship and find it easy to assist each other and work as a team. We alternate shifts so have worked together to make sure that each is aware of what the other has done, so that the patient is never lost of forgotten. It’s fun and adds joy to the job as well!”

Care UK, which runs Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre in Plymouth, introduced a self-pay option for patients who do not wish to be put on a lengthy NHS waiting list or who had been told that the care they needed was no longer available on the NHS. It is an option which is proving especially popular with people whose life and work commitments mean it is important to be able to plan when their surgery takes place.

Self-pay means that patients can choose to pay for their consultant-led care at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre at a greatly reduced rate compared with private health care alternatives. They can also access self-pay without the need for private health insurance and there is a 0% finance option to spread the costs.

In effect, it provides patients with an alternative route to the treatment they need. It has the potential to reduce pressure on existing NHS waiting lists and it gives patients the chance to get treated faster and at a time of day that is convenient to them, within clinical reason.

Mark White, Hospital Director at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, commented: “Paula and Kirsty are a great team, and in them we know that our patients who have chosen to pay for their care will be well looked after in a friendly and effective manner.”

Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre was the first hospital of its kind to have received a rating of ‘Outstanding’ from the Care Quality Commission. It provides a range of major and minor surgery in orthopaedics, general surgery (hernia repair and gall bladder removal) cataracts and endoscopy.

More information about self-pay at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre is available by visiting http://www.peninsulatreatmentcentre.nhs.uk/self-pay/, or by calling 0330 058 1779.