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NHS London drops Clinicenta a year after inquiry

By Ian Quinn

A Department of Health contract with a private firm aimed at cutting GP referrals to hospital has been scrapped, a year after an investigation prompted by the death of an elderly woman found it put patients' lives at risk.

NHS London said this week a deal with Clinicenta, which has provided a raft of out-of-hospital services to 20 PCTs across London, had been terminated ‘by mutual agreement' because it was not providing value for money. The SHA denied the move was connected with an internal NHS investigation, which Pulse revealed last year found a catalogue of blunders and system failures had contributed to the death of the pensioner.

After a long period of suspension, the firm's services were reinstated amid claims NHS London could not afford to cancel the contract.

An NHS London spokesperson told Pulse this week: ‘All parties agree that these services have not seen the volume of patients expected and are not sustainable.'

The contract will officially end on 14 April. Clinicenta declined to comment.