A VIP guest at an event to mark the 30th anniversary of a private hospital had a special reason to celebrate – she’s a former patient.
Spire Yale Hospital in Wrexham came to the rescue when the Mayoress of Wrexham, Bev Williams, who is a ward sister at the nearby Maelor Hospital, was suffering from an agonising back problem.
She attended the event with her action-man husband, the current mayor, Cllr Andy Williams, who is also a full-time firefighter and a voluntary community first responder with the Welsh Ambulance Service.
As well as having a birthday party, the hospital was also celebrating its long-term zero infection rate – for MRSA bacteraemia and Clostridium Difficile.
The number of self-pay patients has doubled over the past five years and the hospital is continuing to grow, with a satellite service at the Spire Consulting Rooms in Abergele which opened in 2009.Between them the two centres employ 165 people.
Since the hospital opened in 1988, skilled surgeons have successfully carried out more than 62,000 operations, ranging from hip and knee replacements to bariatric and cosmetic surgery.
Urology and pain management are among the other specialist services they provide.
The hospital is part of the Spire Healthcare group which has a total of 39 hospitals across the UK.
Mayoress Bev is a big fan of Spire Yale thanks to her own personal experience as a patient.
She said: “My day job is as a ward sister at the Maelor, so I’m very familiar with the medical world.
“A couple of years ago I came here as a patient with agonising back pain caused by disc problems.
“I needed an urgent appointment to see a neurologist in Walton and I think there was about a 12-week waiting list.
“I rang the GP and asked if there was any way I could be seen or reviewed and within days of ringing Spire I got an appointment, was seen, found a treatment and the problem was sorted. It’s really good service.”
It was a sentiment echoed by the Mayor who said: “It’s really important and valuable facility in Wrexham, and the fact that it has been here 30 years is an acknowledgment to the work and the excellent standard of healthcare.
“It’s also a significant employer with 150 people working here in Wrexham and their zero-infection rate is an amazing feat.
“The team at Spire Yale are very dedicated and that shows with the results on infections.”
As part of the celebrations, the mayor presented a special Spire pin to accounts consultant Vicky Williams to mark 21 years’ service at the hospital.
It was also a proud day for Spire Yale director Sue Jones, who started working at the hospital in March 1989.
She said: “The anniversary is a major landmark for Spire Yale.
“We have doubled in size since we opened in 1988 and we need to look at more expansion.
“The demand is out there and most of the patients who use this facility actually pay for it themselves. Additionally we work with all the major health insurance companies to provide excellent care and facilities for their members. That means we need to have a really fantastic service because we know how difficult it can be for people to have to pay for private healthcare. We have to make sure that whatever we do is delivered to a very high standard!
“We do make a real difference to people’s lives and it was lovely to see Bev here today, fully recovered thanks to the service we provide.
“Overall, we’re admitting about 2,300 patients a year for surgical procedures, and probably around 60 per cent of that is orthopaedics
“Cataract surgery has also grown significantly. I’ve had both of my eyes done in the last few months so I saw things from a patient’s perspective. It was an interesting experience and I was very impressed.
“It’s a 10-minute procedure done under local anaesthetic. My eyesight is now perfect. It’s amazing.
“I am particularly proud we still have a zero-infection rate for MRSA and C-diff and that is down to our fantastic nursing and clinical governance teams who take that very seriously.
“Our mantra is ‘quality, quality, quality’ and this is the ethos that will guide us as we look forward to the next 30 years.”