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Circle could take a third of any surplus before Hinchingbrooke’s debts are cleared

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 08 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3254
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

The controversial takeover of an NHS hospital by the private healthcare firm Circle has come under fresh attack after details emerged of the profits to be taken under the deal.

Critics claimed that the contract to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, gave Circle a financial incentive to make “eye watering cuts” to services and jobs.

But Circle’s chief executive, Ali Parsa, defended the deal, saying that the company was already radically improving a hospital that could have closed or lost taxpayers “many tens of millions in the years ahead.”

Circle took over the running of the hospital, which has debts of nearly £40m (€49m; $65m), on 1 February 2012, in a 10 year deal approved by the government. …

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