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Entente not so cordiale

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7348.1239 (Published 25 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1239

Commons health committee chairman David Hinchliffe tells Jo Revill that if he had singlehandedly written his committee's report on relations between the NHS and the private sector it would have been more critical

David Hinchliffe, chairman of the parliamentary health select committee, has expressed his concern that the case for using the independent sector to clear waiting lists is unproved and could seriously undermine the NHS.

His committee last week produced a report on the use of the private sector in the NHS that was more favourable to private finance initiative (PFI) schemes than previous committee reports have been (18 May, p 1173).

However, the tenor of the recommendations led to a number of sharp disagreements among MPs. Mr Hinchliffe made it clear to the BMJ that his views on PFI differ markedly from those expressed in the report, which were the subject of a committee vote.

“If I had written the report singlehandedly, it would have been more critical,” Mr Hinchliffe told the BMJ. “But we have managed to come up with a report in a very contentious area that is pretty consensual—and a consensus report ultimately carries more weight than a minority one.”

MPs found more common ground, however, on the potential dangers that lie in the concordats being signed between local NHS trusts and private hospitals as part of the government's drive to reduce waiting lists.

They called for the …

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