Breaking: Circle says Hinchingbrooke franchise "no longer sustainable" under current terms – seeking "orderly withdrawal"
— BBC Cambridgeshire (@BBCCambs) January 9, 2015
What of Labour’s response to this morning’s news that Circle in Hinchingbrooke, the first privatised NHS hospital, wants to exit their contract. Despite Andy Burnham’s repeated attempts to distance himself from the hospital, he made the decision to put the contract out to tender to private companies when he became Health Secretary in 2009. Circle themselves say “it was clear by the end of 2009 that Hinchingbrooke would be run by a private company”. Hinchingbrooke hospital was privatised by Labour…
That said, Circle’s record at delivering value for taxpayer money has not been bad:
“Since Circle took on Hinchingbrooke in early 2012, the hospital has been transformed. Hinchingbrooke faced closure. It was described as a ‘basket case’. We invested in the quality of care, in staff and in facilities. Now, it has won a number of awards. It consistently hits the most important outcome measures, including low mortality rates, excellent patient feedback, and meeting all major waiting time targets. In the first two years of the franchise, Circle made financial savings significantly above the NHS average. We have saved the taxpayer approximately £23 million.”
Circle were losing money, that is unsustainable for an enterprise mutual or otherwise. Companies will always fail in free markets, the difference is they foot the bill rather than the taxpayer…
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