The commercially confidential Memorandum of Information for the controversial £700 million tender for Cancer Care in Staffordshire has been leaked and published online on openDemocracy.org

Cancer Not For Profit member and Labour PPC for Stafford, Kate Godfrey, has shared her contract concerns on The Guardian after discovering the contents revealed frightening new prospects for the NHS in Staffordshire.

The campaign group have been calling on commissioners for greater transparency and more information about the implications of this contract. The subsequently leaked secret document, which must have come from a source close to the heart of the commissioning process, may indicate that not all is well within the ranks of the team at the heart of this project. Unite the Union’s West Midlands Regional Secretary, Gerard Coyne, is a supporter of the Cancer Not For Profit campaign, he said:

‘I stood on a platform with Cancer Not For Profit in Stafford in September last year calling on the CCGs for greater transparency around this much feared privatisation, now we know why they were being so secretive. The detail emerging from the MOI confirms our worst fears, that this contract is ripe for big business, with the new ‘prime provider’ able to ‘disinvest’ the services of current care providers. It allows them hire and fire contractors from hospices to hospitals to suit their own profit margins. 

There are specific references to a contract designed for ‘VAT efficiencies’,an issue that doesn’t concern the NHS, so it can only be because the Government are sweetening the deal for private companies to legally defraud the tax payer. The Tories have been lining this up since they walked into Number 10, they’ve installed a system which forces NHS commissioners to abdicate responsibility because the Health and Social Care Act 2012 has made their job impossible, but if they let this massive cancer contract go the NHS will never get it back.’

The campaign group Cancer Not For Profit have been asking why this massive experiment is even being considered and have been calling on the Programme Team to share the business case for this project. However, the document reveals that in fact the onus is on the bidders to create such a document and the commissioners did not even have a desired outcomes framework in place, an essential component which was in development apparently, they also neglect to outline how they envisage this great experiment is even to be achieved.

Though there have been several ‘public awareness’ events held by the programme team Andrew Donald CO of Staffs and Surrounds and Cannock Chase CCGs feels formal public consultation is not required claiming that there’s not a significant enough change in providers to make it a legal requirement. Such a stance is questionable if the ‘prime provider’ is able to bring in sub contracts and disinvest others. The Transforming Cancer and End of Life Care Programme Team appear to have no idea what is going to happen to cancer and end of life care in Staffordshire, they just don’t want to be responsible for managing it any more.

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One Comment

  1. Irwin says:

    I am bemused by this as I have had the MoI for both Cancer and End of Life Care since last November as I asked for them under FoI. Having been involved with this campaign for a long time I am not sure what is in the “leaked” MoI which is adding anything not widely known anyway.
    Sadly after much work it beacome clear some months ago that direct legal action could not be used to disrupt the project but at least it won’t be implemented till after the GE. If Labour win then it will go no further. If the Tories win this will be the least of our worries.
    I was also told I would receieve the Business Case (which would be far more interesting) but that was some weeks ago and it has not turned up yet.

    The big issues are still that this appears to be an outsourcing of commissioning – which we were told could not happen and that this is being driven by the arch privatisers in the SPT who were behind the fiasco of Hinchingbrooke and George Eliot (and others).

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