Circle Given 10-Year Franchise of Hinchingbrooke Hospital
The local health authority has taken the decision to hand over the control of Hinchingbrooke NHS hospital to Circle, the private hospital operator for a ten-year period.
Hinchingbrooke has been hit financially and its nearly £40m debt will be paid back by the Circle now. The facility, which will now be operated in a public-private partnership attracted mixed reactions. While some criticized it, there were some who saw the takeover as a pioneered approach.
The takeover doesn’t mean that complete privatization of Hinchingbrooke has taken place. The assets of the facility will be possessed by the NHS only and the staff will also have to comply with the terms and conditions set up by NHS.
Nicholas Timmins says the health facilities in private sector in UK mainly provide services like cancer and cardiac work, treatments that often have long waiting list and support services such as pathology. Only few offer full maternity service. The complete range of health services are provided only by a district general hospital.
The takeover of Hinchingbrooke by Circle has been condemned by some experts on the grounds that operating a financially challenged entity affects quality of services.
But, Ali Parsa, Managing Director of Circle said, “The private sector has to grow up and be prepared to take on the hard cases – otherwise we will be accused of cherry picking”.