Govt was warned body-parts firm’s bid was unrealistically low

A huge scandal has broken today with the revelation by the Health Service Journal that a private firm with a public contract for disposing of clinical waste has been unable to execute its contract in a ‘timely’ fashion, leading to a ‘pile up‘ of hundreds of tonnes of human body parts and other waste.

But the Department of Health’s management organisation for the English NHS, NHS England (NHSE), was told well over a year ago that the price bid by the winning contractor, Healthcare Environmental Services (HES) was ‘abnormally low‘ – and it went to court to defeat a legal bid to overturn the contract award:

nhs too low

Another firm that competed in the tender, Stericycle (then called SRCL), lodged a complaint that the winning bidder had put in a price that was unrealistically low. Stericycle’s legal action was an attempt to overturn the award – but was defeated in the High Court in July.

Stericycle’s claim, lodged in June last year, pointed out that NHSE had failed to require HES to

explain the prices proposed in its winning bid

and alleged that this was a breach of its duties under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

The High Court exonerated NHSE of this allegation – but the wound has been reopened by HES’ failure to cope with the demand for its service under the contract it won at the ‘abnormally low’ price.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

The government claims it is protecting the NHS, but the clear drive under the ‘efficiency’ drive to save £20bn, which the government imposed on the English NHS years ago, to do everything on the cheap is a major part of what is fuelling the collapse of our greatest national treasure.

So is the government’s ideological determination to push every contract toward private firms. The two have come together catastrophically in this scandal.

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  1. This is such a surprise (rolls eyes).

    Is there anything left that the Tories haven’t privatised yet?

    1. Yes, the Tories are for privatizing anything with a heartbeat, but in fairness to them, New Labour swallowed the privatization bait line, hook and sinker, so much that, apparently, on being asked what was her greatest achievement, Thatcher replied: “Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds.”

  2. I remember the “winter of discontent ” when the media was full of stories about rubbish piling up on the streets and mortuaries packed with corpses. The Tories,heavily supported by the media used the story to break Mr Callaghans government.Those same people strangely silent now.

  3. Stewart960130 – I think we all know that New Labour are just Tories in the wrong party. This is why they need to go!

  4. Re the winter of discontent, however, I am a bit concerned that comrades in the Labour Party, cowed by 40 years of neoliberalism, now merely want to return to the ‘paradise’ of the 1945-79 social democratic consensus and its mainly privately-owned capitalist economy. It wasn’t a paradise AT ALL, and its contradictions led DIRECTLY to those 40 years of neoliberalism.

  5. I believe there’s a law whereby if you hire a ‘man & van’ or similar to take your rubbish to the tip, and they instead fly-tip it; then you’re jointly liable. We plebs are told that if the price is too good to be true then that’s the warning sign…You’re meant to ask to see their registration- But who knows what it looks like?

    So surely that same law should apply to the MP’s and/or civil servants that signed this contract? They’re obviously guilty of the same criminal neglect as joe bloggs who paid some charlatan £50 (cash) or whatever to take some stuff the tip?

  6. And you just know who’s going to pick up the bill for yet another private Company screwup…..

    1. It will be way worse than picking up the bill cos Corps screw up !!!
      In US rich people are bankrupted by their private health system .

      AND the US Private Health Co’s pay Dr’s to refuse people the Health Treatment they (think) they have paid for .

      Search for Michael Moore’s film ‘Sicko’ !!!

  7. Warnings are often ignored.

    Think of 9/11 when the Bush administration and the Federal Aviation Authority did nothing despite all the warnings.

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