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:
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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
- 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
- in 2014, Serco ended its contract to run Braintree Hospital early because it wasn’t making enough money for the company
- 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)
- 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
- in 2017, Primecare ended its NHS 111 and out of hours contract barely a year into a three-year contract after a ‘damning inspection‘
- in 2017, Nottingham University Hospitals cancelled a £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.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.