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Lobbyists’ document shows close working between private sector and government over health bill

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8111 (Published 27 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8111
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

The close relations between private healthcare lobbyists and the prime minister’s office during the “pause” in the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill last year is revealed by a document published this week.

David Worskett, director of the NHS Partners Network, which represents firms such as Care UK, Circle, and UnitedHealth, described the network’s access to the prime minister’s office in a briefing paper published by the Social Investigations blog (http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk). Health ministers had told him that they shared the network’s views on the key issues, he said.

The two month “listening exercise,” announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in April 2011, was launched in response to fierce criticism from the medical profession and opposition politicians of the plans to expand competition in the NHS in England.1

The briefing from Worskett, written in May 2011 during the pause, said, “Several members [of the NHS partners network] have used their own …

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