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 pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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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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