Nottingham Keep Our NHS Public have been campaigning against Circle’s takeover of their hospital services for some time. Now though, there has been a significant development prompting the HSJ to write an article about how the local CCG is embroiled in a legal battle with Circle over a £320m contract.
In response to this news Nottingham KONP have issued the following release, and ask you to join them this Saturday for a march and rally with speakers. Assemble at 11am at the Brian Clough Statue in Nottingham and walk to Sneinton market to rally at 12pm.
Circle Healthcare, the private company currently running the Treatment Centre on the Queens Medical Centre hospital campus has begun court proceedings against the Rushcliffe Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to protect its profits.
Having lost out twice to the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust in the new contract to run Treatment Centre services, Circle is now going to court for a second time, claiming the Trust can’t possibly treat NHS patients for less money and that bringing the contract back in-house would be “unrealistic” and “not in patients’ interests”.
The controversial company has had a number of major failures in the past, including the collapse of acute dermatology services at the Queens Medical Centre hospital after they took over that contract and handing back the contract to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital near Cambridge in 2015 because they weren’t making enough profit.
Circle allege that the cost of in-house services would be higher due to staff benefiting from “improved NHS terms” – an admission that they are underpaying staff at present – and fail to mention the extent of the profit they have been taking out of the NHS for the past ten years. Both the CCG and NHS Improvement’s regional Director of Finance have approved the in-house bid.
Mike Scott from Nottingham Keep Our NHS Public said:
“This is completely outrageous. Having been fairly beaten to this contract twice by better value public sector bids, Circle have gone to court to try to protect their profits. Their past performance should have been enough to bar them from bidding for any NHS contracts. We will not stand by and watch them take urgently-needed money out of the public sector by the back door. These people only care about profit, not patients. This is nothing short of a national scandal.”
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