Mayo Clinic’s 55,000 physicians, nurses, scientists and students already treat 1.3 million patients each year from 136 countries. Now, on the 200th anniversary of the birth of its British founder William Worrall Mayo, the clinic, in partnership with Oxford University and Oxford University’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is bringing its extraordinarily effective “patient first” ethos to London. Marking Mayo Clinic’s first foray outside the US mainland, the new clinic offers premium screening and diagnostic services in the heart of London’s Harley Street district.
Mayo Clinic – whose experts of decades gone by, trivia fans, invented both the G-Suit and high-altitude oxygen mask – has been established in the US for over 150 years. It started when Salford-born William Worrall Mayo emigrated to the US to establish a medical practice.
So why London for its first foray outside the US? “Mayo Clinic is very much a destination hub for healthcare globally,” explains Mikaela Saunders, the clinic’s head of business development. “People will fly from all over the world to Minnesota, Florida or Arizona to have great care – after all, the US News & World Report recognised it as number one hospital in the US yet again this year.”
“Outside of the US, London tends to be seen as a healthcare destination. The Harley Street medical area is renowned for great medical care, and people will generally travel to Harley Street for their health, so setting up at the bottom end of Portland Place seemed perfect.”
Clients won’t just have on-site expertise at their disposal: the clinic also provides access to the knowledge of a network of over 4,500 medical consultants around the world, both at Mayo Clinic and the Oxford partners. But what’s unique about the joint venture, says Saunders – above and beyond all the state-of-the-art equipment such as a 3T MRI scanner, high-definition CT scanners and 3D mammogram facilities, all of it based on 40 years of research with the executive health programme in the US – is its patient-led approach.
“We very much focus on the whole person,” she says. “Without belittling any other institutions, preventative health screening models can tend to be a bit one-size-fits-all. We try to focus wholeheartedly on the individual with what we call an unhurried appointment. The physician has time to talk about your concerns, your previous medical history, things that might be bugging you, conditions you may be concerned about developing in the future because of family history or because you’ve developed an awareness of a certain condition that you wish to be protected against going forward.”
Perhaps typical of Mayo Clinic’s meticulously measured approach is the way in which they’re embracing predictive genetic testing – a process increasingly compared by the white coateratti to
“a crystal ball, but with science”.
“We absolutely will embrace that technology, and this is something we are looking to do in the future,” says Saunders. “Genetic testing used appropriately involves the proper counselling, the proper guidance and appropriate tests based on family history, full medical history and other bits and pieces. It can be really beneficial and worth adding to our arsenal but in a mindful way.”
Our full applause for what is an undeniably healthy – pun intended – approach, and a warm welcome to London.