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Burnham For Mayor

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Circle deal holds worrying implications for the future of the NHS

Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, on reports of the profit-making deal between Circle Healthcare and Hinchingbrooke hospital, said:

"The structure of this deal holds worrying implications for the future of the NHS.

"David Cameron is on record as saying he wants the NHS to be a 'fantastic business'. In his desperation to bring in the private sector, he has rolled over and failed to drive a sufficiently hard bargain for the NHS.

"The Prime Minister has put profit-making before patients; it's a bad deal for the NHS and people will struggle to understand it. If it was to be played out across the system, we would see millions siphoned out of the NHS.

"The Hinchingbrooke deal gives Circle a financial incentive to make eye-watering cuts and the onus is on the Government to ensure they have not compromised the quality and safety of patient care.

"It is time for the Government to be honest about its privatisation plans for the NHS. Public statements by Ministers are at odds with the deals they strike in private. Rather than signing secret deals, the Government must explain what they consider to be acceptable profits for private companies to make out of running NHS services and allow Parliament to have a proper debate."