European Union Rules Open Up £15 Billion NHS Contracts to Private Bidding

Private providers have been given the chance to bid for thousands of NHS services for the first time due to new European Union competition rules. While the recent Brexit decision has been largely condemned by health service sources, it could be suggested that this is the sort of decision which demonstrates that Brexit may not be all bad for the NHS. NHS England has published “prior information notices” for its specialised services contracts in the Official Journal of the European Union... Readmore

Ambulance Staff Picketing Private Practices in Wage Row

Sussex GPs who hold senior CCG management posts have seen their practices picketed by ambulance staff. The issue is related to a disagreement over unpaid wages, following the collapse of a private provider. Workers from the Sussex Patient Transport service employed by subcontractor Docklands Medical Services suggest that they are owed unpaid wages following the dissolution of the company. The workers’ GMB union states that an ethical commissioning group involved in employing the private... Readmore

Hospitals Forced to Send Patients to Private Hospitals for Eye Treatment

Struggling hospitals have been forced to send thousands of patients into the private sector for vital surgery, as around one in 13 cataract operations is now conducted privately, according to new figures related to the Scottish health system. Questions have been raised about the capacity of the NHS to carry out routine operations after a parliamentary question revealed the number of private cataract procedures has quadrupled since 2012. More than 2,700 vital eye operations were done in the private... Readmore

Circle Holdings Wins Major NHS Services Deal in London

The private healthcare company Circle Holdings has secured a £74 million deal to provide orthopaedic services in London. Circle Holdings will take over the contract on a five-year basis, despite previously struggling to deliver similar NHS services satisfactorily. The company notably pulled out of a contract to run an NHS hospital just last year, which will lead some people to question the validity of this latest public-private partnership. Many will also review the deal as indicative of the general... Readmore

Virgin Care Secures £700 Million Health and Care Co-ordination Deal

The Virgin Care group has landed a major £700 million NHS contract, which will enable them to coordinate over 200 healthcare services in Bath and North East Somerset. According to NHS Bath and North East Somerset CCG, the deal will enable healthcare coordination to be strengthened in the region. The CCTV had received numerous complaints from people who believe that the existing healthcare system is confusing to navigate. Having agreed the deal, Virgin Care has announced that the contract will... Readmore

King’s Fund Calls for NHS Organisations to Develop Collaborative Relationships

The King's Fund believes that NHS organisations could make more effort to form collaborative relationships with both patients and communities, and has emphasised the importance of this as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View. Commenting on the implementation of this health service program, the authoritative think tank suggested that the NHS must step up his efforts to forge new relationships with patients and communities, which is a central pillar of the five-year transformation scheme. The Five... Readmore

Practice in Chelmsford to be Taken Over by Virgin Care

A general practice whose funding was diminished following a recent contract review will be taken over by the private Virgin Care. All of the partners at the Sutherland Lodge Surgery in Chelmsford, Essex have already opted to resign having been informed that funding for the practice will be reduced by 50% over the next two years. NHS England has stated that the Virgin Care will take on the contract for the 12,000-strong patient practice from 1st July. Meanwhile, the premises are “being purchased... Readmore

Information Commissioner to Investigate Capita Over Missing Patient Records

The Information Commissioner is to launch a major inquiry into the NHS patients records system, after evidence emerged that the transfer of notes around the UK has gone awry. Healthcare practices across the UK have stated that incorrect patient records have been forwarded to them, and the General Practitioners Committee has raised governance issues to assess the cause of the issue. One particular report indicated that patient records were, rather inappropriately, found in a car park. This latest... Readmore

Spending on Private Ambulances Triples in Four Years

New figures indicates that the level of NHS spending on private ambulances has trebled in just four years. The data will be a further indication of the extent to which the NHS is wasting money on acquiring services from the private sector. Ambulance trusts paid private companies and voluntary organisations £68.7 million to attend emergency calls in 2015-6, compared to £22.1 million in 2011-2. And although NHS England attempted to defend the practice, even the figures which the healthcare body... Readmore

Boots Prescription Legal Issue Deepens

Accusations accusing the chemist chain Boots of deceiving the public over prescription charges have intensified after further evidence was unveiled. It seems that the senior executives of the company have been guilty of revising a letter produced by an independent pharmacist. Reports have already revealed that the largest chain of chemists in the UK have seemingly been forcing staff to take advantage of NHS schemes in order to increase profits at the company. The changes to the letter were made... Readmore

Four Seasons Health Care Reports Huge Financial Loss

The biggest care home group in the UK, Four Seasons Health Care, has reported a £264 million annual loss. These financial problems are indicative of problems that are rife in the social care industry. Speaking about the difficulties facing the care home group, the chairman of the company, Robbie Barr, insisted that Four Seasons is focused on improving the causing of care, and has a turnaround plan in place. This is despite the loss and Four Seasons’ debts of more than £500 million. Four Seasons... Readmore

NHS Turns Down Private Operations Opportunity

Reports indicate that officials in the NHS have decided against purchasing thousands of operations from private hospital groups. David Hare, chief executive of NHS Partners Network, which represents independent providers, indicated that private hospitals had offered to deliver 55,000 surgical procedures and 200,000 diagnostic tests in the last quarter of 2015. Yet the decision has been taken to respect the public ethos of the NHS and prevent further commingling between the public and private sectors. Of... Readmore
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