Published on 24/08/2012
A bidding war could soon begin between NHS organisations and private companies for the contract to run the bankrupt South London Healthcare Trust.
South London Healthcare Trust runs three hospitals in the capital and serves around three million people. Earlier this summer it was put into the hands of government administrator Matthew Kershaw because it was losing £1 million a week.
On Thursday, Mr Kershaw announced that he had invited both private companies and NHS organisations to submit interest in taking over the trust, which has a turnover of £424 million.
Mr Kershaw wrote that he was “seeking to identify any parties who may be interested in being part of one or more of the solutions”.
This statement indicates that different services could be sold off to be run by different providers. Firms including Virgin Care, Serco and Circle could submit formal expressions of interest.
In February, Circle became the first private firm in the UK to take over the management of a general NHS hospital. Hichingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire has seen improved waiting times and happier customers since the takeover, but these improvements need to be sustainable.
South London Healthcare Trust has sizeable debts, including paying more than £60 million towards two Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes.
A spokesman for Virgin Care said the firm had to evaluate the situation before deciding whether or not to submit a formal expression of interest. According to the Telegraph, no-one from either Circle or Serco was available for comment.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: NHS and Hospitals