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Tuesday 18th June 2019

Private firm first to run NHS hospital

1st February 2012

A UK hospital is set to be run by a private firm.


Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire has been taken over by Circle, an organisation which is co-owned by doctors.

The hospital had been threatened with closure as it tried to tackle £40m of debt but now Circle is aiming to find a solution to the financial difficulties and hopes to attract new patients.

The £1bn deal over 10 years sees Circle take on all the financial risks of making the hospital more efficient and paying off its debts.

Circle chief executive Ali Parsa said: “Today an ambitious programme will be unveiled to turn a hospital, once labelled as 'a basket case', into one of the top 10 in the country.

“Like John Lewis, Circle are employee co-owned, and have a track record of creating best-in-class hospitals by devolving power to the clinicians and staff who are closest to patients. We are confident that we can do it again in Hinchingbrooke.”

The organisation has set a timetable for improvements to be made and that will be see changes led by specific units that will include a doctor, nurse and administrator.

Circle is heralding a rigorous plan of improvement to patient care and food quality.

Dr Stephen Dunn, director of policy and strategy at NHS Midlands and East, described the move as an historic day for the NHS.

However, while health care union Unison welcomed the fact that the hospital had been saved, regional organiser Phil Gooden expressed concern at involvement in the NHS.


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