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    In the summer of 2013 the trade unions led a major campaign to prevent the “franchise” of George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.  We were told that a franchise was the only possible solution for the Trust to survive and it provided the Business Case which set this out and which was approved by all and sundry.  It was claimed that franchise could enable the kind of changes and costs savings that would be impossible within the normal NHS.  A full blown EU procurement was under way to get the best “partner”. A strong rebuttal of the business case was provided […]
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    Ali Parsa, Chief Executive of Circle is amazingly charismatic. He’s also an impressive public relations operator. His admirers claim Hinchinbrooke test case for privatisation. Circle’s claim to be a mutual or a co-operative are disputed. Its claims to be a social enterprise are harder to contest because there appears to be no agreed definition of what that means.  But Roy Lilley certainly doesn’t believe it. Nor does he accept the claims of huge improvements at Hinchingbrooke. Hinchingbrooke Hospital, now managed by Circle,  reports  big improvements, reflected by high patient approval ratings, and claims its accident and emergency department has become the “top […]
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    Neither Hinchingbrooke nor Circle are what they seem. The carefully created public image of Circle, the private hospital company that took over the management of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, is a triumph of PR spin – a classic exercise of smoke and mirrors. Reference to the “success” at Hinchingbrooke has become shorthand for any right wing politician advocating privatisation as a solution to the crisis created in the NHS by coalition policies since 2010.  These people, given easy platforms by journalists who uncritically rehash Circle press releases, endlessly tell us how services at Hinchingbrooke have been transformed – ignoring the fact that […]
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