Published: 15/01/2004, Volume II4, No. 5888 Page 5

A mini independent treatment centre orthopaedic chain based in Runcorn and Kidderminster, which will treat over 6,500 patients a year is to be announced this week.

The chain was originally to include an ITC at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, but that is now being set up as a locally procured site run by Nations Healthcare - as announced by health secretary John Reid this week and revealed by HSJ last year.

Mr Reid also announced a new ITC in Southend, also revealed by HSJ last year, and the completion of contracts for two mobile ITCs.

The Runcorn and Kidderminster chain will include 1,720 orthopaedic patients treated per year within an NHS treatment centre being developed at Kidderminster Hospital.

Kidderminster ITC project director Mags Barnaby said that although the orthopaedic private provider would be based within the current treatment centre, 'patients will not notice the difference'.