THE trust which runs Basingstoke hospital is hoping to make around £2million a year from its newly-opened private patient unit.

The Candover Clinic is now open for patients and is providing private outpatient consulting and treatment in a purpose-built facility which has been built on the site of the hospital, in Aldermaston Road.

The clinic, right, includes a 22-bed inpatient ward and a state-of-the-art diagnostic suite.

As previously reported in The Gazette, hospital bosses took the decision to create the private patient unit in 2012, after the Government lifted a cap which limited how much of its income could come from private patients. This cap shot up from two per cent to 49 per cent.

Mary Edwards, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), said: “We need new ways of making money.

“Our aspiration is that this will make around £2m a year, and this money will be used to improve and develop the services we provide to NHS patients.”

She said the clinic was of “great benefit” to the hospital’s NHS service. The clinic, which is funded and operated by HHFT, is staffed by local consultants who are seeing patients there as part of their private practice.

Mr Kevin Harris, consultant breast surgeon and clinical director of the Candover Clinic, said: “Candover exists to provide care and choice to local people who are privately insured or self-funding.

“Our facilities set a new standard in private health care and create much needed competition in the area. Our consultant-led approach, and the fact we are independent and not part of a large corporation, means that we only ever consider your health and wellbeing when making decisions about your care.”