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First Private company in NHS to withdraw


9 January 2015

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The first private company to manage and NHS contract now wants to “withdraw” from its contract.

Circle Holdings who have managed Hitchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire since 2012 said that doing so is “no longer viable.”

Many reasons have been given for Circle Holding’s decision, including the dramatic rise in A&E attendees and cuts in funding. To date, the company has paid £4.84m to the trust and could be required to pay a further £160,000.

The first private company to manage and NHS contract now wants to “withdraw” from its contract.

Circle Holdings who have managed Hitchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire since 2012 said that doing so is “no longer viable.”

Many reasons have been given for Circle Holding’s decision, including the dramatic rise in A&E attendees and cuts in funding. To date, the company has paid £4.84m to the trust and could be required to pay a further £160,000.

Chief executive Steve Melton said: "This combination of factors means we have now reluctantly concluded that, in its existing form, Circle's involvement in Hinchingbrooke is unsustainable."Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN said:

“This is deeply worrying news for staff and patients and further highlights the major financial crisis facing the NHS, and the daily pressure facing staff.

“Hinchingbrooke was one of the first NHS hospitals to be taken over by a private provider and at the time many considered this kind of arrangement to be the way forward for the health service. This announcement shows that private sector involvement is not always the answer.

“This news also highlights just how much pressure is being managed by NHS trusts around the country who are struggling to keep up with patient demand while remaining financially secure.

“Every effort must now be made to support staff to continue providing high quality patient care.

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