Patients in the Midlands are to benefit from the world's largest mobile medical fleet which can carry out surgical procedures in car parks.
In a bid to meet the 18-week NHS waiting list target, a Department of Health initiative will see the introduction of nine units operated by the private sector.
The fleet, which includes 15 metre-long operating theatres, outpatient units and recovery wards, and 18 metre-long endoscopy units, will be based within the boundary of the newly-formed West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA).
Patients referred by their GPs will be able to attend the Nuffield Hospitals-run clinics in supermarket and leisure centre car parks in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
Consultants in non-contracted NHS time and supporting clinical staff will offer treatment in a range of areas including urology, cataract, and orthopaedic surgery.
In addition, patients awaiting endoscopies – specialist internal examinations used to detect problems in parts of the body including the stomach, bladder and colon – will be seen.
The units were acquired in October 2004 by Nuffield Hospitals, which recently secured the status of preferred healthcare provider for the contract.
David Mobbs, Nuffield Hospitals' chief executive, said: "As an organisation, Nuffield Hospitals is delighted to have secured preferred bidder status for this mobile healthcare solutions contract and very much looks forward to supporting the NHS in the West Midlands.
"Nuffield treats the first patients under this contact in June 2007 and we are proud that the West Midlands SHA chose us ahead of other independent healthcare groups.
"This is the largest fleet of sophisticated mobile healthcare units ever deployed in the UK."
A Nuffield Hospitals spokesman said it was important to reassure patients that the services provided would be of a high standard regardless of location.
"More than 60,000 safe and successful NHS operations have already been carried out in these units – many of them in car parks," he said.
"They are state-of-the-art mobile healthcare units and comply fully with Healthcare Commission standards.
"Examples of treatments include surgery for hernias, tonsillectomy, haemorrhoid surgery, cataract surgery, knee arthroscopy and adult circumcision.
"Top surgeons including Joe Cahill, former president of the British Association of Day Surgery, have endorsed the use of these theatres and enjoy working in them.
"Patient feedback shows that they are actually preferred to hospitals.
"They are likely to remain at each site for up to three weeks although the outpatient units will probably move around more often than that."
A West Midlands Strategic Health Authority spokeswoman said the introduction of the units in the Midlands would not set a precedent for other parts of the country.
She said: "The idea is to give patients more choice – to provide more services in their city and to improve access closer to home.
"They will be referred through the existing channels and the units will be in one location in the area but there will also be a few different units for different procedures."