Simple chart shows huge portion of NHS at risk from #Carillion-style collapses

NHS campaigners have long warned of accelerating Tory privatisation of the NHS since former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s 2012 Health and Social Care Act forced the NHS to put more and more services out to tender and prevented them protecting true NHS provision.

Now the collapse of huge construction and outsourcing firm Carillion has put a spotlight on one of the most serious risks of allowing private firms to carry out any critical NHS functions.

According to senior union official Jennie Formby, Carillion’s collapse puts at risk a large number of NHS facilities and services:

formby carill.png

Two hundred operating theatres and almost 12,000 beds are only the tip of the iceberg of the threat that privatisation has posed – a threat that has grown rapidly in recent years of Tory government:

nhs awards

In just the most recent three complete years, the award of NHS contracts to for-profit and non-profit companies – has increased by sixty percent and represented almost two-thirds of the total in the most recent year.

In cash terms, the scale of the situation becomes even clearer:


The numbers show that the value of NHS services put out to tender leaped by more than 1100% in a single year from 2013/14 to 2014/15 and has remained high – and the number of contracts last year was at a record high.

By applying the percentages to the tender values, we can see that just in the last three years, over twelve billion pounds’ worth of NHS services have passed into non-NHS hands.

Around ten percent of its total budget.

As many NHS contracts may be for longer than three years, it’s likely that the total in company/non-profit hands will be much higher – though according to the King’s Fund, it is hard to measure because of the different ways it is reported and measured.


An NHS already collapsing under the weight of investment coming almost to a standstill under the Tories and the impact of profits taken by its private providers would be pushed into complete implosion by the collapse of even one major private contractor.

Yet the government wants to do more and is currently reorganising the NHS into ‘Accountable Care Organisations’ (ACOs) that will give private companies the opportunity to take over the awarding of contracts, not just to bid for them.

In the context of such deliberate idiocy, the threat to the NHS and its patients of a collapsing ‘goliath’ provider is huge.

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  1. Bronwen Maddox of the Institute for Government was just defending the principle of private provision – with the proviso that there are enough companies to take over if one goes bust – clearly an issue in the case of Carillion.

    She wasn’t asked if her institute had warned of the danger in Carillion’s case or whether she was just being wise after the event.

    It would seem that the NHS would also be excluded from private provision on those grounds but that question wasn’t asked either.

    Lots of arse-covering to be expected in the next few days methinks.

  2. This is project Tory bullshit in overdrive.
    Public contracts that are over budget are going to be a cost to the tax payer, and any company taking over are going to screw the government. All running public contracts, will have to be taken over under new contract, another cost to the taxpayer.
    They are playing this down but the cost to the taxpayer is going to be high.

  3. Yes the Neo-Liberal Tory legal capitalist thieves steal from us working people all their lives and try to stuff the mouths of their private friends with gold until reality hits that with their ignorant ethos they are crap in sectors the morons don’t understand. Take it all back under DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC OWNERSHIP!

  4. Hunt and May now really have to go. Truth always comes out and now this ( hidden Tory agenda ) is going to cost millions off an already under funded system. Govt are crooks sponsoring their own friends. Where will the buck stop. At the deaths of friends and relatives probably!!!

  5. For as long as the Tories remain in office we will bail out private profiteers whilst cutting the public services.

    Have the public woken up yet, these Tories are taking them for fools?

  6. This is huge. It has to be enough to bring the government down.
    Labour HAVE to seek a vote of no confidence now.

  7. Wonder if any Tory investors in Carillion (or their relatives – there presumably will be some) have divested their shares just in the nick of time – and what, if any, oversight of contracts they might have had…

  8. You do great work SKWAWKBOX … keeping us informed about things. Please keep it up.

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