WIRRAL’S cancer hospital could open a private wing for paying patients.
Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology (CCO) bosses said profits would help them cope with funding problems in the NHS.
They are now in talks with private bidders about the unit at its Bebington site.
Wirral South MP Alison McGovern said it was “worrying” an NHS hospital had to consider the option.
Hospital chiefs said profits would be pumped back into NHS services.
Ms McGovern said: “It is worrying that an organisation like this is investigating such a proposal.
“CCO is a wonderful NHS organisation and we do not want any threat to NHS principles.”
Yvonne Bottomley, deputy chief executive and finance director, said Clatterbridge was considering “joint venture proposals to provide private patient services.”
She added: “This will involve the development of a dedicated private patient unit at the Clatterbridge site.
“The trust’s core focus is to provide excellent cancer care and treatment for NHS patients and the provision of private patient services will not prejudice or disrupt NHS services in any way.”
Ms Bottomley said the hospital, like the rest of the NHS, was facing a number of “financial challenges” due to reductions in national funding.
The director added: “We need to ensure we maximise all opportunities for generating income as opposed to reducing NHS services.
“The trust intends to use any profits generated from the private patients’ development to both maintain and enhance the NHS services we provide and continue to offer our patients the outstanding level of care and supportive environment we are known for.”
The hospital has put forward plans to move its main hub to Liverpool, on the site of the new Royal hospital.
But the private wing would be housed within the current Wirral complex and would be on site before the Liverpool build.
The exact details of how the unit would be run and the extent of private companies within this have not yet been decided.