Business can transform the NHS

Circle have won the bid to be the first private company to run an NHS hospital. They beat off competition from NHS Foundation Trusts and other private sector providers to be named today as the company who will take over running the hospital in summer 2011. However despite the protests that will come from the ‘anti-privatisation’ brigade, this is actually more of a “mutualisation” as the trust’s assets will still be owned by the state and the staff will still have their NHS contracts.

Although the private sector account for only about 3% of NHS hospital and treatment provision at the moment, the bigger picture of private and business involvement demonstrates that the public-private partnership model is not new and does not cause the sky to fall down. Medicines, equipment, diagnostic devices, deliveries, catering, laundry, cleaning, pathology not to mention PFI ‘mortgages’ are all partly or fully supplied by the private sector.

What is important is not who runs the service or supplies the materials – it’s the quality of care and outcomes for patients – and of course that there are no charges for services. Monopolies maintain mediocrity – this announcement is an exciting and welcome development in the history of the NHS.


About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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One Response to Business can transform the NHS

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Hinchingbroke first ever NHS hospital to be run by social enterprise company #big society #nhs winner --

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