Newcastle Clinic sees a healthy rise in NHS referrals

Rise equates to an increase of more than £500,000 from last year, while pre-tax profits are likewise set to grow

Shaun Fryer, managing director of Newcastle Clinic, with the clinic's open-side MRI scanner
Shaun Fryer, managing director of Newcastle Clinic, with the clinic's open-side MRI scanner

Newcastle Clinic is on track to report sales of £1.8m by the end of the year after increasing its patient referrals by 120%.

The rise equates to an increase of more than £500,000 from last year, while pre-tax profits are likewise set to grow from £82,000 to £175,000.

Part of the attraction of the clinic is that it houses the only open-sided MRI scanner in the North of England, which is used by both private and NHS patients.

Chairman Phil Taylor believes this could be crucial in his growth strategy for the medical diagnostic sector.

“I am keen to roll out the model we have used at Newcastle Clinic right across the country if we hit predicted sales of �1.8m by the end of the year,” he said.

“Obviously, the large increase in referrals from both NHS and private clients is a significant step in the right direction to achieving this.”

The clinic, which is based in Jesmond, is run by a highly trained team of 30, made up of consultant clinical radiologists, radiographers, nurses, specialist physicians and support staff.

The latest figures show a rise from 90 patient referrals a month in April 2012, to 200 by April 2013.

Approximately 62.5% of these are recorded as NHS patients who, with a few exceptions, are referred from Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust, while the remainder are private patients.

The clinic’s open-sided scanner is suitable for a range of essential diagnostic procedures, including suspected cancer investigations, back problems, sports injuries, and musculoskeletal problems.

NHS patients who suffer from claustrophobia, or who are unable to fit into conventional ‘closed’ scanners, can access the technology on the NHS.

Managing director Shaun Fryer said: “The figures show there is a real demand for this particular service and that doctors and patients in key geographical areas are becoming more aware of our open-sided MRI scanner.

“Our scanner helps increase choice for patients and offers an alternative to a closed scanner, which is not suitable for obese or claustrophobic patients.”

He added that Newcastle Clinic had achieved its success through a growing suite of diagnostic tools available to NHS and private clients alike.

“There is a drive towards more privatised medical diagnostic providers and we intend to position ourselves at the forefront of this,” he added. “We have said before that the North East is a blueprint for the medical service to be rolled out nationally, and the rise in referrals re-enforces this.”

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