Surgeons back Circle Health’s safety-first tenet

Consultants with Circle Health Group have given a thumbs up to the roll out of ‘The Circle Philosophy’ across its combined network of over 53 independent hospitals.

The company, which has invested £100m so far this year in new technology, regeneration, hospital expansion and theatres, says this underlines its commitment to its people and patients and combines the culture at its three hospitals and BMI Health­care’s 50 that it took over last year.

It prioritises ‘essential values of selflessness and compassion, reflected in how the company’s workforce serves patients and one another’ and is a culmination of what healthcare professionals and other members of staff have stated they want for their workplace. 

Circle Health Group’s core mission is to become ‘the UK’s most innovative and patient-focused healthcare organisation’. 

Mr Rhodri Llywelyn Williams

Its philosophy spells out its principles: patients come first, belief in its people, good enough never is, being open minded and innovative, and its values: those who are selfless and compassionate, collaborative and committed, agile and brave, tenacious and creative. 

Asked what the new philosophy meant to him and his practice, specialist hip and knee surgeon Mr Rhodri Llywelyn Williams, who is is based at BMI Werndale, Carmar­thenshire, said: ‘To be a good surgeon, you need to care about what you do and the way you do it. 

‘As surgeons, the knowledge that the culture we work in supports us is reassuring. I know I and other consultants are valued by the organisation. The innovation and direction the group has taken has benefitted my practice.’

Mr Ben Gooding, a shoulder and elbow consultant at BMI The Park Hospital in Nottingham, said: ‘The Circle Health Group philosophy is a combination of two tried and tested philosophies that have been built over ten years. 

Mr Ben Gooding

‘In combining the scale of BMI with Circle’s clinical-led innovation, we can guarantee that patient care continues to be the foremost priority.’ 

Circle’s ‘operating system’ aims to encourage staff, whatever their role or status, to raise patient safety concerns. This celebrates those who ‘stop the line’, a term borrowed from Japanese manufacturing, which it says has proved to help staff speak up.  

It also prioritises fixing systems and processes at their core rather than implementing workarounds. Staff are encouraged to ‘swarm’ problems and fix them fully. 

Circle’s chief people officer David Cooper said the philosophy had been enthusiastically adopted across the company and was one way to ensure Circle became the hospital of choice for private consultants. 

Massoud Fouladi, co-founder and group clinical chairman, said: ‘We are committed to delivering the very best patient care. Key to this is developing and protecting the culture. It is clear that staff, whether they originally came from Circle or BMI, want the same things from where they work.’