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Privatisation of cancer and end of life care services in Staffordshire could threaten NHS providers, warn critics

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1557 (Published 19 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1557
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

Campaigners have expressed concern at the radical overhaul of cancer and end of life care services in Staffordshire that critics have dubbed “the biggest NHS privatisation yet.”

The row came after the prospective Labour parliamentary candidate for Stafford, Kate Godfrey, scrutinised a memorandum of information document for prospective bidders seeking to run cancer and end of life care services in the region.1 The deal is jointly worth £1.2bn (€1.7bn; $1.8bn)—£700m for cancer care and £500m for end of life care.

The document, dated June 2014, fleshed out plans announced last year to redesign local cancer and end of life care services by awarding single 10 year contracts to “prime providers” to oversee entire care pathways.2 The prospective bidders included five private firms (United Health UK, Virgin Care, CSC Computer Sciences, Health Management, and Interserve Investments) and two NHS trusts (the Royal …

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