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Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Private sector deals scrapped

16th November 2007

The government has decided to cut back on its use of private sector care for the NHS.

Pound Sign

In the last few years, the government has signed deals with firms to provide NHS treatment and diagnostic centres in England in an effort to cut waiting times.

But it is now scrapping a series of projects because ministers say they do not provide good value for money. It means that six clinics in the pipeline and another already up-and-running will fold at a cost of millions of pounds.

The move follows an announcement in July by Health Secretary Alan Johnson that there would be no third wave of independent sector treatment centres. In the first two waves, more than 60 deals were drawn up to provide minor operations and limited diagnostics.

Schemes to be axed are: North East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Referral Assessment Diagnostics and Treatment Service, North East Diagnostics, South East Diagnostics, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge Electives, Cumbria, and Lancashire Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services, and the Lymington element of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Electives.

Wave two has already cost £84m on legal fees and procurement costs, though some of this was spent on the schemes that have been given the go-ahead.

Mr Johnson defended the government’s use of the private sector.

But Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA’s consultants committee, said: “It’s a crying shame that so much money has been wasted on this political initiative when the NHS could have achieved better value for money.?


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