A private hospital dubbed ‘the Chiltern Hilton’ in Bucks is being used by the NHS for urgent operations, it has emerged.

Bucks Healthcare Trust has confirmed some of the facilities at BMI The Chiltern Hospital, in Great Missenden, are being used by the trust to perform urgent operations from this week after a “substantial” rise in coronavirus cases in the area means NHS hospitals are under “significant pressure”.

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A trust spokesman said: “The trust is working closely with local partners in the independent sector to enable us to continue to treat those patients who need it most, at a time when the NHS is under significant pressure due to substantial rise in Covid-19 cases.

“Some of the facilities at The Chiltern Hospital are being used by the Trust to perform urgent operations.”

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The spokesman added that vulnerable cancer patients from Stoke Mandeville have also been moved to The Shelburne Hospital, which is based on the same site as Wycombe Hospital.

It comes after a reader, who did not want to be named, got in touch with the Bucks Free Press to say his wisdom tooth extraction, due to take place at The Chiltern this month, had been cancelled and he was told the hospital was being “taken over” by the NHS.

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He said: “This gave me the impression that all private procedures have been cancelled to make room for the highest priority NHS patients.

“I haven’t been offered a follow-up appointment yet, but I don’t mind waiting as it is not an urgent procedure that needs to happen.”

Fraser Dawson, executive director at BMI The Chiltern Hospital, said: “We are proud to be increasing our support for the local NHS community as pressures continue to increase locally.

“It’s essential that vital treatment continues, including for urgent cancer care, so we are working hard alongside our NHS colleagues to keep these essential services up and running.”

“While we are doing everything we can to minimise disruption to patients booked in for elective treatment, inevitably we will need to reschedule some planned treatment to prioritise urgent care.

“We know postponing elective treatment can be distressing, so we would like to thank our patients for their continued support and understanding as we support the NHS, and reassure them we will rearrange their treatment as soon as we possibly can.”