By Nick Dorman
People.co.uk, October 28, 2012
Bosses at Britain’s first privately-run NHS hospital have asked for a bailout just six months after taking over.
In a major blow to Tory plans to privatise the health service further, contractor Circle racked up losses of £4.1million at Hinchingbrooke.
Now the firm, which is run by a former Goldman Sachs banker and has expressed an interest in running other hospitals, has been forced to ask the local NHS trust for a cash advance.
The hospital has fallen 19 places from the top of a Government league table of patient satisfaction since it was taken over by Circle.
Last night Unison health union said this raises big questions over Tory privatisation plans for the NHS.
Spokesman Anne Mitchell added: “This should force a rethink. Right from the start our view was a private company would not have the experience to run a large hospital like Hinch-ingbrooke.
“They made many claims which they are now failing miserably to deliver.”
Shadow health minister Jamie Reed said: “Patients are paying the price for David Cameron’s eagerness to hand the NHS to private companies.”
Hinchingbrooke losses double Circle Health estimate
BBC News, October 25, 2012
The first NHS hospital to be run by a private company has revealed losses in the firm’s first six months in charge were almost double those forecast.
Circle Health took over management of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire in February.
The board reported that 46 nursing posts had been cut so far at the Huntingdon hospital under Circle’s management.
Karen Webb, regional director for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union, said: “The RCN doesn’t see how [quality care] can be achieved by removing nurses from the system.
Ali Parsa: Government should not be running hospitals
By Andrew Cave
The Telegraph, August 4, 2012
“It’s all about bringing entrepreneurialism, ownership and a sense of engagement into health care,” says Parsa, pointing out that the company subsidiary delivering the health care is 49.9pc owned by hospital staff.
So, how big can Circle become? Parsa, who came to the UK by himself from Iran at the age of 16 a few years after the 1979 Islamic revolution and built up and sold a media promotions company before moving into investment banking with Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, apparently sees no limit.
“I’m an entrepreneur with ambition,” he says. “And I didn’t come to run a small company in Circle. We came to create a very large organisation.
“On a 10 to 20-year view, I think the scale of private companies running NHS health care in Britain could be huge. I honestly cannot see why we should not be running many, many hospitals in the UK.
“And if we are doing a great job in the UK 10 or 20 years from now, there’s no reason why we should not be doing the same thing all over the world.”
By Don McCanne, MD:
Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has been eager to privatize their National Health Service. What a great start. Hinchingbrooke, now privately managed by former Goldman Sachs banker Ali Parsa, has racked up losses of £4.1 million and has plummeted on the Government’s new patient satisfaction league table. Apparently Cameron and his Conservatives are blind as to what has happened across the Atlantic.
Of significance is that the tendering process for this arrangement began under the Labour government. Just as the Democrats here have supported an expansion of privatization through private insurers and private managed care organizations, Labour seems to be complicit in Britain’s move toward privatization. Taking care of the one percenters seems to be an international phenomenon. Sad.