Ten failed private health contracts worth £2.5 billion

nhs flames.png

Public attention is focused on privatisation and its dangers following the collapse of outsourcing and construction giant Carillion, a profit warning issued by fellow giant Capita and the government’s decision to appoint a special monitor for Interserve contracts.

But the failure of outsourced contracts is not a new phenomenon. The ten examples below show NHS contracts worth around two point five billion pounds that ended badly:

  1. in early 2015, Serco walked away from a contract for GP ‘out of hours’ services in Cornwall after criticism of its service by the Commons Public Accounts Committee, which said Serco’s out-of-hours service was “not good enough” and that the company had struggled to ensure enough staff were available
  2. in 2016, Virgin Care closed a popular medical centre in West Oxfordshire. Virgin Care’s contract had expired and when the company decided not to rebid, no alternative could be found. 4,400 patients had to find treatment elsewhere. Patients were left in tears when the closure was announced 
  3. also in 2016, a Cambridge £800m end of life contract run by UnitingCare Partnership collapsed after 8 months, after the consortium ran into difficulties (evidence)
  4. in 2015, A £1bn NHS contract to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital collapsed after private firm Circle failed to make it financially viable and withdrew from the contract. A neighbouring NHS Trust had to step in and form a new, larger trust to take over the running of the hospital
  5. in 2014, Care UK announced that it was exiting its contract to run a GP Practice in Newcastle early. The decision put the care of 7,000 patients at risk. The contract should have run until August last year
  6. in 2014, Serco ended its contract to run Braintree Hospital early because it wasn’t making enough money for the company
  7. in 2014, Care UK agreed to end a contract to run two care homes in Norfolk after concerns were raised over standards failures, including missed homecare visits (evidence)
  8. in 2016, Interserve’s £300m contract to run cleaning, catering and maintenance services for the NHS in Leicester was scrapped 4 years early after serious concerns over standards of cleanliness
  9. in 2017, Primecare ended its NHS 111 and out of hours contract barely a year into a three-year contract after a ‘damning inspection
  10. in 2017, Nottingham University Hospitals cancelled£200m NHS contract with Carillion after allegations of ‘filthy‘ wards

The dangers of outsourcing public services to commercial providers is a hot topic at the moment – but those dangers have been manifesting for years under Tory government.

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  1. All that under useless Hunt and she added social care to his title. How the fuck did he keep his job, oh that’s right it’s their agenda ffs

    1. Actually care was always part of that dept, they just added the emphasis to try and paper over the cracks when he refused to go.

    2. ‘Social’ implies ‘society’ , and the (very dead) arl’ hag, thatcher – their supreme being – told us all there was ‘No such thing as society’

      ‘Nuff said, really. :/

  2. The writers are just scratching the surface!! . This is just for part of NHS. Many of the above companies are involved in £millions with all other Govt Departments and really cocking things up there as well in their aim to improve their margins to the detriment of the contracts and people they involve. There are other companies that exist as well not mentioned here but sailing extremely close to the wind in other departments. When Serco first came to the fore years ago it was in liaison with A major company owned by Heseltine. Servos top man was Dennis Thatcher. They set up the demise of PSA to enable the Govt contracts to be issued to these private companies , at grossly inflated sums. So actually Govts created the mess and have continued to ensure it remained so as if fed big big money to friends.

  3. Watch by the end of 2019- nothing what so ever to do with Brexit) – just hidden corruption in many ways by the few, every Govt Department will have major catastrophic consequences with various collapses. What ever Hammond does – stop paying out to EU, Foreign Aid, Oxfam etc as he will ( resign before then of course) need the cash for major emergency’s in keeping the country running. Before long children will be having Craft lessons every week- making their own paper to write on! If you are admitted to hospital you will have to pack a survival bag just like Expecting mothers do , but you will include food and dressings.

  4. Have a look at hastings and Bexhill NHS trust the chronic pain unit was farmed out to Virgin health care combined with another plumb contract they soon gave chronic pain patients 1 visit. To a uninterested doctor who only asked why are you here?

    Then thrown back to overworked GP’s who don’t like patients with Morphine needs. Then your offered a pain control course the same course i have now done 2 times and is NOT designed for Chronic pain!

    So where is the 2500 pain control patients money going? Haven’t a clue on how big this contract is, but it’s NOT beng any use or purpose.

    Compare to under the NHS where we had a specialist nurse available on demand and / or a visit every 6 months for a checkup / change of medication.

    So thanks Virgin hope your owner ends up in chronic pain and he has to have treatment under his company! Oh sorry forgot he can afford the best care harley street can give!

    A Chronic pain patient from Bexhill.

  5. Yes it took 20 years for Neo-Liberalism to capture the Tories (Thatcher had to be sat in a room and taught it) then New Labour then and NOW the EC. The Tories believe “private sector good, public sector bad” and this is their ideology! Marketisation, deregulation, outsourcing, CHEAP LABOUR and a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich! Tory Neo-Liberal Barbarians to a man and woman!

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