Mayo Clinic, Cerner grow U.K. presence with new central London clinic in partnership with Oxford

Mayo Clinic will open a new state-of-the-art health clinic in central London—its first facility in the U.K.—in partnership with Oxford University Clinic and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The new 27,000-square-foot clinic, located at 15 Portland Place, is set to open its doors later this month with a focus on private diagnostic screening and preventive care services to patients including personalized health plans tailored to both individual and corporate clients. The clinic is the first test in a partnership connecting two major names in healthcare and medical research, leaders of the joint venture said. 

The joint venture, officially called Mayo Clinic Healthcare in partnership with Oxford University Clinic, aims to drive clinical innovation that improves patient care, advance medical research and education and ultimately deliver better patient outcomes, the two organizations said in a press release. The new clinic will also provide patients access to a network of 4,000 medical experts.

While Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic has collaborated with other international organizations, such as its research and innovation partnership with Sweden's Karolinska Institute, this joint venture has a patient care component.

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Ben Hume, clinic manager for the Mayo Clinic and Oxford University Clinic joint venture, said the new clinic addresses a gap in the U.K. market for preventive healthcare. "There is an appetite for healthcare which is not only high quality but highly personalized and tailored to the needs of the individual," he said in a statement.

The London venture is operating outside of the U.K.’s National Health Service and will provide care for patients privately. On its website, the clinic says it will offer both personal and corporate healthcare plans developed around patients' individual needs. The facility will provide the latest cutting-edge technology as well as "world-class patient experiences in a relaxing environment" with an executive lounge and business hubs inside the clinic.

Oxford University Clinic is itself a joint venture between the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In an interview with the advisory board last year, Bruno Holthof, M.D., CEO of Oxford University Hospitals, said the partnership with Mayo Clinic enables the organization to focus on innovation even while NHS resources are under pressure.

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"Both the academic medical center and the university were concerned about budget pressures. That's the main reason why the university and the trust have created a new legal entity called Oxford University Clinic, which will allow innovation that could not take place otherwise. It will diversify the sources of funding so that we also have more private funding available for research, teaching, and care delivery, and allow us to invest in innovations that otherwise the NHS or public spending would not," he said.

Speaking of the new London clinic in partnership with Mayo Clinic, Holthof said, "We're trying to stay at the forefront of innovation by diversifying the amount of funding and the type of funding we get."

The new clinic has partnered with Cerner for its electronic health records (EHRs) system, representing a milestone for the health IT firm as its first Millennium platform contract within the U.K."s private healthcare sector. Cerner's Millennium EHR platform is used by 128,000 health and care professionals across 22 NHS Trusts to manage 1.2 million patients every month, the company said.

"We are excited about how this unique partnership will benefit patients not only from the UK but potentially from all different parts of the world. Mayo Clinic and Oxford University Clinic are both reputable organizations known for their innovative approach to take care quality to the next level, and we are delighted to partner with them in this endeavor," Distie Profit, managing director for Cerner UK, said in a statement.

In June, the joint venture appointed four specialist doctors to form the core medical team, with two from Mayo and two from London. Robert Orford, M.D., director of the Executive Healthcare Program at Mayo Clinic, and Kevin Fleming, M.D., Executive Health Program consultant at Mayo Clinic, join from the U.S. while Sihame Benmira, M.D., a specialist in workforce transformation and emergency medicine, and Sandeep Kapur, M.D., general practitioner, join from U.K.-based practices.

Stephen Cassivi, M.D., a thoracic surgeon and vice chair of the department of surgery at Mayo Clinic, was tapped to serve as the joint venture's medical director. 

“Our exceptional new team of physicians will act as the integral force of the clinic, driving its commitment to excellence and delivering a truly unique service to everyone who walks through its doors. Selected for their passion for preventative medicine and specialized expertise, each of the four clinicians contributes a unique set of experiences to our clinic," Cassivi said.

According to an article in the U.K.'s Telegraph, consultations at the London clinic will cost around £670 (about $827 U.S. dollars). It will also be the first clinic in Britain to offer a type of genomic testing known as pharmacogenomics that predicts how certain medications will be metabolized by a patient’s body.

"In an era when the average GP appointment on the NHS is now just 12 minutes long, a new unhurried approach to healthcare is likely to prove enticing for many," the Telegraph article said.