Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Private provider to pull out of Hinchingbrooke Hospital contract due to 'A&E demands'

A private healthcare provider is pulling out of running Hinchingbrooke Hospital, citing ‘unprecedented A&E demands’ and an upcoming CQC report that it expects to be ‘unbalanced’.

A statement from Steve Melton, the chief executive of Circle, said that the company has ‘entered into discussions with the Trust Development Authority with a view to withdrawing from the current contract’ for Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which it took over in early 2012 when it was the first private company to make such a move.

He said that ‘the playing field has changed’ since the contract was originally put out to tender in 2009, while adding that ‘funding has been cut by approximately 10.1% this year’.

In the terms of the contract, Circle are allowed to pull out once investment in the hospital has hit £5m, and Mr Melton said that £4.84m had already been invested.

Mr Melton said: ‘Like most hospitals, over the past year we have seen unprecedented A&E attendances – at times up to 30% higher, year-on-year - and not enough care places for healthy patients who await discharge.

‘Second, at the same time, our funding has been cut by approximately 10.1% this year.’

He added: ‘Finally, we were one of the first hospitals to be inspected under the CQC’s new process. We understand their report will be published soon, and fully expect it to be unbalanced and to disagree with many of its conclusions.

‘We recognise the importance of a regulator focussed on quality, but we are not the only hospital to find their process problematic. We believe that inconsistent and conflicting regulatory regimes compound the challenges for acute hospitals in the current environment.’

He went on pay tribute to the ‘amazing work’ of the staff.

Readers' comments (17)

  • As a general rule I believe in capitalism, private enterprise and the free market. As a general rule I distrust "public services" which are often anything but.
    However there are some services which are best provided by government - e.g. police, armed forces. For as long as we still believe in an NHS rather than an American style private market, this story demonstrates why large scale private business is a bad thing in the NHS - if it isn't making enough profit for its shareholders or its Private Equity multi-billionaire owner, it can just up sticks and walk away. But if you can walk away and abandon people, you aren't a public SERVICE. The notion of a public SERVICE and a big firm that can just up sticks and walk away are incompatible. The further danger a few years down this road is that when for example United Health and Virgin run 90% of practices, they will be too big to fail and like the banks can hold the Govt i.e. the taxpayer to ransom by saying that if they don't get a 50% increase in funding, they will close all practices and make the staff redundant tomorrow. What govt could stand up against that? The "cottage industry" of general practice partnerships provides the taxpayer with amazing value for money and very little systemic risk.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What a private company slating the reforms this govrnment has made? They could'nt organise a subsidised sell off in a healthcare environment!

    Lets see if Cameron is right about tprotefcting the Health Service and gets another private company to pick up the liabilities rather than the taxpayer?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • says it all - money before people!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • No organisation, whether private or publically run, can run at a loss. It doesn't matter how socially minded you are, if income goes down by 10% and demands rocket the contract is not viable. It is about time that NHSE understood this and GPs in particular stop being martyrs.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • System failure in progress,everyman for themselves,abandon ship!!!!!!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • AND WHO DONATED £1.4 MILLION TO THE TORY PARTY IN THE PAST........YES, CIRCLE WHO IS RUNNING HINCHINGBROOKE.
    WHY IS THAT NOT BEING DISCUSSED? THE DAILY LUNATIC (HUNT'S PET "ATTACK DOG") WON'T BE MENTIONING THAT!!!
    COME ON DAILY NUTTER, THE "PEOPLE'S FRIEND"-YOU HAVE "DISGRACED" JOURNALISM.
    THIS DECISION WAS "BOTCHED", YES "BOTCHED" BY YOUR TORY CHUMS.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • At the beginning I only gave Circle 3 years before they would pull out. I am feeling very smug today!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Vinci Ho

    Reality bites in now.
    Private providers are not stupid . This government tried to con people with an underlying agenda of ' the cheaper , the better.' Of course, it is going to backfire.
    This is a 'wonderful' irony to section 75 of HSCB.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Unable to provide unfunded healthcare. GPs might have to do the same.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "Anonymous | GP Partner | 09 January 2015 12:44pm
    AND WHO DONATED £1.4 MILLION TO THE TORY PARTY IN THE PAST........YES, CIRCLE WHO IS RUNNING HINCHINGBROOKE.
    YES "BOTCHED" BY YOUR TORY CHUMS."

    The process to award the contract to a private firm was started in 2009 by LABOUR !!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say