Kingsbridge wins contract to run Bupa clinic in Belfast
Private hospital Kingsbridge has won a new contract to run a clinic in Belfast for healthcare giant Bupa after a company linked to its former operators went into administration.
And Kingsbridge Private Hospital, which is part of the 352 Healthcare Group, has moved the clinic formerly run by Bio-Kinetic Healthcare, from Great Victoria Street to its own site on the Lisburn Road.
Five staff have been transferred to the new centre, joining eight new GPs and three new health advisers.
Kingsbridge said that the growth in capacity following relocation could mean a doubling in turnover at the hospital over the next 18 months.
A spokeswoman said: "The Bupa contract is now contracted to Kingsbridge Private Hospital as of last week.
"Biokinetic Healthcare is no longer trading since the administration process concluded. All new Bupa contracts are directly with Kingsbridge for health screening, private GP and muscle and joint assessment centres."
Alan Cole, head of partnership centres at Bupa Health Clinics, said: "We're really excited to have moved to this larger, world class location, and are looking forward to welcoming both existing and new clients through its doors."
Mark Regan, chief executive at Kingsbridge, said: "Having been a Bupa partner facility for the last seven years, we are delighted to be offering these additional services and welcome the fact that the Bupa Belfast clinic is now based at Kingsbridge."
In January, Kingsbridge Private Hospital said it had seen a tenfold rise in patients travelling from the Republic for treatment, with 162 procedures carried out during the month.
Mr Regan said that demand for private operations in Belfast was being driven by the lengthening hospital waiting lists in the Republic and the euro/sterling exchange rate making the UK more affordable for Irish patients.
"Even if you go private in the Republic you could still be waiting between three to six weeks to see a consultant and then more time before you'd get your procedure carried out," he said.
"At Kingsbridge, we would have your surgery done in less time than it takes to get to see a private consultant in the south."
Kingsbridge has picked up the Bupa contract following the failure of Bio-Kinetic Europe in Belfast.
It went into administration in October after a litany of problems including a shareholders' dispute, loss of a £1m contract and two failed sale attempts.
The administrator HNH then began the process of selling Bio-Kinetic Healthcare - a Bio-Kinetic Europe subsidiary - which operated the Bupa centre in Great Victoria Street.
Bio-Kinetic Europe was set up in 1996 and carried out clinical trials for drug companies in Europe, the US and Japan.
In one of its final trials it tested treatments for type 2 diabetes on patients.