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Success and turnaround for UK’s first NHS hospital to be privately run


At one time I lived quite close to Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which had fallen into poor service.  It recorded one of the lowest rankings in the area for patient satisfaction, and was nearly at the bottom for waiting times, with many patients required to wait over 4 hours in Accident and Emergency.  Then last year the running of it was handed over to Circle Holdings on a 10 year contract.  The company’s operating subsidiary is 49.8 percent owned by a staff partnership.

The results have been immediate and dramatic, says a Telegraph report.  Patient satisfaction is now 85 percent, putting it in the top 6 of the region’s 46 hospitals.  Losses have been cut down to £3.7m instead of the anticipated £10m, and the company will soon start to pay off the old debts previously incurred.  The formula is simple, and involves cutting paperwork and giving decision-making power to doctors and nurses.

This offers a way out of the NHS’s appalling problems.  Its hospitals could follow this model, with the running contracted out to a consortium involving the staff.  The next stage will be to remove the central bureaucracy by giving ownership of the hospitals to their communities. Step by step we now have the chance to replace the NHS by a better, more responsive, and more caring system of health care.


One Response

  1. It is really interesting to see how quickly this hospital turned itself around. This really shows how company/private run hospitals really are more effective than some NHS hospitals.

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