The first NHS Hospital to be taken over by a Private Company Fails.
Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire was privatised in 2012 although the process started in 2009 under the last Labour government. The agreement was that Circle would take over the hospital from the NHS and any profits above £5m would be returned to the NHS. The trouble is that that there were no profits, just losses.
Admittedly, the Losses started at £10m in 2012 and fell to £1.5m in March 2013. However, the NHS is not something that can be made to comply to “the market”. People get sick at odd times, mainly during the winter. Just because more people are ill does not mean that prices go up. The laws of capitalism do not apply.
As a capitalist you can cut costs, reduce wages, reduce the number of jobs etc. but that does not help when the CQC ( Care Quality Commission) are on your back and the numbers going to A&E are going through the roof. All you can do is to suck it up – or ditch the whole thing, as Circle has decided to do.
As much as I hated the idea of any company running a hospital I can not but feel a bit of sympathy, not much but some, for Circle. They take on a proposition that looks like it will make a profit only to find that the Tories, their natural partners in crime (it’s an expression, not a judgement!) start cutting the funding…. On top of that the impending CQC report would have criticised the standard of health care demanding better service levels.
That is so unfair. Circle says that its funding has been cut by 10%. It is unreasonable to expect any organisation faced with increased demand to be able to cope with reduced funding at this level. Unless it is the NHS, of course. Circle can hand back the keys. The NHS is just told to do more with less by this heartless and BUPA insured government. (You don’t really think that the boy Cameron uses the NHS, unless it makes a good story n the press do you?
So, when can the private sector run the NHS successfully? It is quite simple, Never.