Politics

Private firms invited to run NHS services with cancer and kids treatments on sale


NHS cancer care and kids’ ­treatments are up for grabs in a stealth Tory sell-off, the Sunday Mirror can reveal.

Private firms are being invited to bid for chunks of our health service – in complete contrast to Boris Johnson ’s repeated election campaign denials.

Cardiology, gynaecology, paediatrics and oncology are among the services being offered to companies.

A new framework drawn up by NHS Shared Business Services will see hospital trusts buying clinical care from a list of suppliers.

It could lead to deals worth up to £117million being handed out over four years.

NHS SBS described the scheme as a “value-for-money means of buying additional clinical capacity” to help hospital trusts meet targets.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move could see deals worth up to £117million being struck
Boris Johnson’s move could see deals worth up to £117 million being struck

But critics blasted the government for outsourcing care through the back door to cut waiting times.

Dr John Lister, from Keep Our NHS Public, said: “This is batch privatisation aimed at encouraging NHS trusts to outsource services rather than provide them themselves.

“This could mean outsourcing whole units or services and transferring staff, or making them redundant.”

Tender documents seen by the Sunday Mirror list 34 NHS ­departments which could bid for private services.

However, they state: “This is not an exhaustive list and ­additional services may be required.”

Privately-run cancer screening was controversially introduced at three hospital trusts in Swindon, Milton Keynes and Reading in September.

Privately-run cancer screening was introduced into three hospital trusts in September
Privately-run cancer screening was introduced into three hospital trusts in September

Yet during a TV election debate in November, the Prime Minister insisted: “Our NHS will never be for sale.”

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Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said last night: “The election was just days ago and here is Boris Johnson allowing private health services to run riot.

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“Despite all his big promises, the reality is we will see more of our NHS sold off and patients will be waiting longer for vital treatment.”

A spokesman for NHS SBS said: “NHS organisations routinely purchase support from other healthcare providers when they need it.”

The Department for Health and Social Care declined to comment.





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