totalhealth and Barclays Wealth join forces to explore Global Positioning of “Healthcare UK”

“The future of medicine will be centred on the needs of the informed patient”
Prof Karol Sikora

A landmark meeting co-hosted by patient information website totalhealth and Barclays Wealth was held this week at Barclays Wealth’s offices in Brook Street, London. Some of the UK’s most senior doctors, bankers and healthcare managers met to present and pool their ideas on how to re-assert the UK’s global position as the centre of excellence for healthcare provision.

The UK benefits from medical tourism with turnover exceeding £1billion. John Bugos from the HCA hospital group reported that private hospitals receive around 15% of their business treating patients from abroad. However, other countries are gearing up and positioning themselves with aggressive, government assisted initiatives to attract this business, and UK patients are included in the increasing numbers of people travelling abroad for treatment.

totalhealth Medical Director, Mr Daryll Baker, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital chaired the meeting. He referred to the traditional medical mantra of the importance of the 4 ‘A’s’, namely:

  • Affordability
  • Affability
  • Accessibility
  • Availability

These traditional values still hold true for the global healthcare market despite or because of the availability of information, travel and the internet.

Professor Karol Sikora, who gave the keynote speech said: “The future of medicine will be centred on the needs of the informed patient”. In the context of professional working relationships between the NHS and the private sector, Professor Sikora went on to say that in other countries, such as Singapore, public sector doctors who are prepared to also help support and promote their private hospitals are, “not seen as heretics”. His point was that there does not have to be a clash of cultures between the private and public sectors and there are existing models, such as at University College Hospital London that set new standards of best joint practice.

Ben Covey, Director, UK & Ireland Private Banking, Barclays Wealth, said: “Barclays Wealth was delighted to be able to host such a fascinating roundtable, which provided tremendous insight into healthcare in the UK”.

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Khai Lam who has extensive oversees medical experience and who is the spine specialist at Guy’s & St Thomas’s Hospital and the London Bridge Hospital also spoke. He provided details of the sorts of complex cases that he treats and explained how he often sees patients who have received poor or inappropriate treatment elsewhere in the world. These patients often have to travel to London to have their problems resolved. Mr Lam pointed out that in these circumstances it was important to look at the cost-effectiveness of medicine, rather than the cost. However, Mr Lam also emphasised the need for doctors to have some understanding of the culture of the patients from abroad.

Consultant Gynaecologist Mr Adrian Lower gave a high-tech overview of how doctors can make use of communication and information technology to provide a better service to patients. He explained how 68% of all internet use was for health purposes, and how useful websites such as are in providing trustworthy information to facilitate patient choice as well as access to appropriate professional services.

Consultant Neuro-Surgeon, Mr Habib Ellamushi who had returned from India to attend the event provided invaluable insight into the needs of international patients, often referring to the “patients’ wishes”. Mr Ellamushi explained how patients expect solid opinion, reliable information, the best fix with least complications and how attention to the small details make a big difference. He also expressed his concerns over the level of “misinformation” that is available on the internet and therefore the need for reliable sources. Mr Ellamushi was also concerned about the apparent lack of strategic direction in the UK. He compared UK private hospitals with other centres such as the US Cleveland and Sloane Kettering hospitals and how there is currently a short-fall in the level of client care in the UK.

John Bugos Director for Strategy & Planning for HCA International said: The consensus of opinion was that whilst the UK offers unrivalled levels of clinical expertise and skill much more could be done to facilitate patients who are prepared to travel to take advantage of the best levels of care and facilities that are available worldwide.

It is hoped that this meeting will be the first in a series of initiatives aimed at addressing how the UK can compete in the global medical market.

About totalhealth

totalhealth is a patient focused medical education website. This unique, impartial and authoritative title publishes information on the latest medical advances and treatment options and is written by clinical experts. Articles are the same material normally prepared for medical journals, but with full explanations for the more technical medical jargon. totalhealth provides the essential expert knowledge to ensure that patients have access to the right information so that they can understand their own situation and where necessary seek appropriate treatment.

Medical Director, totalhealth

Mr Daryll Baker is one of London’s most senior and respected Consultant Vascular & General Surgeons. Daryll Baker qualified in Medicine from Oxford University and trained in surgery in Nottingham and Edinburgh, before joining the Royal Free Hospital in 1997. In addition to his private practice at The Wellington Hospital in North London, he runs busy arterial and venous specialist clinics at both the Royal Free Hospital and Edgware Community Hospital. At the Royal Free Hospital he undertakes major vascular and endovascular surgery including aortic, carotid artery and peripheral vascular procedures.

About the speakers

Professor Karol Sikora

Professor Sikora was Clinical Director of Cancer Services at Hammersmith Hospital for 12 years and was seconded as Chief of the WHO Cancer Programme for two years. He is currently Medical Director of CancerPartnersUK and dean of the University of Buckingham's medical school; the only private medical school in the UK. He has co-authored or edited twenty books, including Treatment of Cancer and the Economics of Cancer Care. Professor Sikora is known for his outspoken views.

Mr Khai Lam

Mr Khai Lam is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and first qualified in 1990 in Nottingham. He works at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Spinal Unit and at The London Bridge Hospital. He has specialist interests in spinal surgery, lumbar and cervical disc degeneration, sciatica, adult and childhood deformities / scoliosis, tumours, infections, fractures, inflammatory disorders injection therapies (facet injections, nerve root blocks, discography) lumbar and cervical. Mr Lam was the first UK recipient of the Gold 'La Medaille d'Honneur' from L'Etiole Europeenne du Devouement Civil et Militaire for his work in helping children with serious spinal conditions, treating aircraft ejectee pilots with spinal injuries, and his involvement with developing novel spinal implants and technologies.

Mr Adrian Lower

Mr Adrian Lower works exclusively in the independent sector in the Harley St area of London. He is the Founder and Medical Director of The London Fibroid Clinic and has recently established the Women’s Health Partnership Ltd at the Princess Grace Hospital, London to promote individualised patient care. He has been listed as one of the United Kingdom’s top 150 private doctors in Tatler Magazine since 2005.

Mr Habib Ellamushi

Mr Habib Ellamushi is Consultant Neurosurgeon, St Bartholomew‘s and the Royal London Hospitals NHS Trust. With extensive international experience Mr Ellamushi is involved in active research of the spine and brain, with over 40 publications including articles, editorials and book chapters.

John Bugos

John is Director for Strategy & Planning for HCA International Limited.  At HCA, John leads corporate efforts in developing joint ventures, public-private partnerships, major capital projects, and acquisitions.  John has extensive prior experience as a CFO in both the healthcare and technology sectors in both the US and the UK.  Previously, John was also a management consultant with both Deloitte and Booz Allen.

Mr Ben Covey

Ben Covey is a Director, UK&Ireland Private Banking at Barclays Wealth. He has been with Barclays since 2001 and has worked on both the investment side and the client side of the business. Ben is currently responsible for a team of 40 Private Bankers focusing on the London and South East Region. The team is rapidly expanding within the region as Barclays Wealth increases it's investment in Wealth Management sector.

About Barclays Wealth

Barclays Wealth is the wealth management division of Barclays. Wealth is a leading global wealth manager, and the UK's largest, with total client assets of £153.5bn, as at 30 June 2010. With offices in over 20 countries, Barclays Wealth focuses on private and intermediary clients worldwide, providing international and private banking, investment management, fiduciary services and brokerage.



For further information about the initiative ‘Positioning of Healthcare UK’ or if you would like to talk to the speakers please contact:

Bob Davidson

Total Health World Ltd

Direct: 01865 339405

Mobile: 07711 000440