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Hinchingbrooke NHS Hospital to be managed by private firm Circle

Published on 10/11/2011

A £1bn 10 year deal has been made between a private sector firm and a struggling NHS hospital. This is the first case in the UK of a non-state provider managing a full range of NHS district general hospital services.

Circle describes itself as a social enterprise because 49.9% is owned by a partnership of employees. Others see it as a private business as the rest is owned by its parent company, Circle Holdings, which is listed on the stock market.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, is one of around 20 hospitals in England facing the possibility of closure because of financial problems. Carrying around £40m of debt, the hospital has been given a high risk rating by the NHS.

From 1 February 2012, Circle will assume the financial risk of making Hinchingbrooke Hospital more efficient and paying off its debts. Circle believes it can do this with existing staff by looking at cutting extra costs like reducing the amount spend on agency staff.

Any significant changes in services at the hospital will have to be agreed with the local NHS and the public will have to be consulted. The hospital will continue to be paid at NHS rates for its work while it is being run by Circle.

Circle chief executive Ali Parsa said:

"We want to create a John Lewis-style model with everyone who works there in charge of the hospital, letting them own the problems and solve them.”

Although this deal is a one off at present, other struggling hospitals may be under pressure to follow the same course in the future if the deal proves successful. With the NHS having to cut more than £20bn from its budget by 2015, this move may be repeated across the country.

Patients with private medical insurance will be the ones who benefit from the NHS reform. Many hospitals are already planning to increase their private services to earn more profit. A private unit situated in an NHS hospital will benefit from the comprehensive services of a large hospital, including access to cutting edge clinical research.

Compare health insurance policies online now to make sure you are prepared for the changes being made in the NHS.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
Hinchingbrooke NHS Hospital to be managed by private firm CircleA £1bn 10 year deal has been made between a private sector firm and a struggling NHS hospital. This is the first case in the UK of a no    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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