A private company, listed on the stock market, has been given the right to deliver a full range of hospital services for the first time in the history of the NHS, reigniting a debate about the use of business in the health sector.
Circle Healthcare, a John Lewis-style partnership valued at around £120m, will manage the debt-laden Hinchingbrooke hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, from February after the government signed off on a decade-long contract on Wednesday.
For fucks sake, people. Calm down. It’s not a privatisation. Can’t you people see that?
The takeover is not considered a full privatisation as the buildings will remain in public hands and the employees retain their pay and pension on existing terms.
It’s not a privatisation because the NHS will still own the building. *rolls eyes*.
Seriously though, how can anyone claim this is not a privatisation? The building remains in the hands of the NHS, so the NHS becomes the landlord. *Everything* else is down to Circle.
The current staff stay on their existing pay and pension terms, but what about new staff taken on? Will they be on contracts the same as NHS staff? What about when Circle decide they don’t want existing staff on NHS terms? They’ll find a way of getting people to re-apply for their existing jobs on different contracts.
Having said all that, as long as there are no links between Circle and the Tories… what? oh…
As Labour MP Jamie Reed tweeted last night:
Former Tory Health team member Mark Simmonds MP is also a paid strategic advisor with Circle. Coincidence?
And then added:
Two of Circle’s major shareholders are Tory Party donors. Coincidence?
In fact, emails released to the Guardian (by SpinWatch) in July this year showed Circle was part of a lobby group that took the NHS regulator to expensive gala dinners.
Privaatisation started quietly with a little contract here and a little outsourcing there, this though, is the real deal.