I posted about the ten year deal transferring management of Hinchingbrooke hospital in Huntingdon to a private, offshore controlled, company this morning.
Now a commentator on this blog has asked the questions which seem to need answers so I thought I would give them broader publicity.
There are a lot of questions that arise from this deal.
1) Hinchingbrooke has a PFI scheme, who is liable for that?
2) Hinchingbrooke has a private patient unit, will its profits go into the trust, or into Circle?
3) The trust is not a Foundation Trust, but it will have to be because the Health and Social Care Bill abolishes the status of NHS Trust, so Hinchingbrooke will have to become an FT or become a private hospital. FT’s have a membership (anyone over 16 in the area can be a member) who elect governors and the governors appoint the non-executive directors and the chair of the trust. Governors hire and fire NEDs and they can force the chief executive to resign. If Circle is taking over the management, and given a 10 year deal, does this mean that future FT governors will not be able to fire Circle? If not, then what is the point of them?
Another comment made an equally pertinent point, which is that a ten year deal manes that the next government can do nothing at all about this. I predicted such a stitch up by the Tories some time ago and it's no surprise that this is exactly what they're doing.