Faced with the usual winter headache of much increased use of A & E bringing with it pressure on bed use and staff the usual suspects, (politicians) are abusing the Service in Scotland, kicking it around the media and in parliament like a football. It would be to the credit of the aforementioned if they would keep mum for a time. providing support where required, allowing the Service to get through what is always a difficult few weeks.
Contrast the Health Service in Scotland with it’s much troubled and abused sister organization in England. Emergency measures are in place all over the country due to privatization measures introduced piecemeal over the past 4 years.
Today a Private healthcare Provider has defaulted on it’s contract and handed an entire Trust back to the government. Now that is what I would classify as a disastrous situation.
January 9 2015 NHS privatization in sick bay as Circle pulls out of Cambridgeshire hospital
The experiment to privatize parts of the NHS has been dealt a blow as the company running Britain’s only privatised general hospital said it was handing it back to the taxpayer due to government spending cuts and the unprecedented increase of A&E patients. Circle shares plunged 16.5% to 50.25p on the news, which comes as a savage blow to the reputation of the company led by Steve Melton.
Stock market-quoted Circle Holdings took over the running of the troubled Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust in early 2012 after a tender process started by the previous Labour government. But it has since been harshly criticized by the health regulator for serious failings including condemnations of cases where “staff treat patients in an undignified and emotionally abusive manner”, failure to follow hand washing guidance and failing to lock away medicines from the reach of patients.
Circle today blamed its decision to hand back the keys on the “significant changes in the operational landscape for NHS hospitals” since the tender process began in 2009. It said this included “unprecedented increases in accident and emergency attendances, insufficient care places for patients awaiting discharge, and funding levels that have not kept pace with demand”.
It added that conditions have “significantly worsened in recent weeks”, meaning it faced making increased investment beyond the £4.8 million it had already put in “aggregate support payments”. Under the drafting of the Circle contract, it is allowed to terminate the franchise if these payments go beyond £5 million. Amid state funding cuts of more than 10%, Circle faced making “substantial” extra investment for the foreseeable future, it said.
Chairman Michael Kirkwood said: “It is with regret and after considerable thought we make this announcement. The board has unanimously concluded that current conditions in the healthcare economy and regulatory environment are unsustainable for a franchise operator.”