Sunday, November 13, 2011


Since the announcement of the Circle Health Hinchingbrooke NHS "deal" it seems that more comes out daily to show my warnings have been vindicated.

One local Tory biased propaganda weekly paper call me a scaremonger and fall just short of calling me a liar, but as they dine and meet with our local and "dodgy" MP, who has been berrated for his expenses claims and recently brought to book over share dealing and a possible conflict of interest with his government office.

I warned that this "deal" was Profits before Patients and today it is revealed just that they are not a social enterprise
One thing you will notice is the debts that Circle Health made a pre-tax loss last year of £44.3m and yet they claim to be able to pay off Hinchingbrooke's historic,government induced debt of £38m. This does sound dubious as with this years £10m losses in 10 months added then the prospect for this to fail are high

On top of this we find that Patient Care is to fall this was again, Highlighted by me and again I was brandished a scaremonger and all but a liar and yet again I will be vindicated.

The other issue is the motives of Circle and how they can manage to turn a profit, even a small one.
One of the largest liabilities for a Hospital is staff pay and lets be fair we are paying for highly skilled people here,from x-ray, blood testing,porters and the like right up through Nursing staff to Consultants. All are trained to high standards to provide there service to the patient.

Under the Circle "deal" all the staff are to be retained using the Retention of Employment model, which means they are seconded from the NHS to the new company while retaining their NHS employment status, terms and conditions.
However, I know what Circle are going to do, they are going to, through slick presentations, going to offer to staff the chance to opt out of the NHS ROE model and choose to TUPE to their Terms & Conditions with an offer of shares that will never be worth the paper they are written on.

The outcome for those who choose the TUPE route will be devastating as Circle will not bat an eyelid when it comes to culling staff as these poor souls will be cast to the wilderness without a care and yes the shares will be worth nothing.

Under the current management team, Hinchingbrooke makes a small surplus, enough to keep it in the black but not enough to eat into the Historic debt that was caused over the years by successive governments and their relentless top down reorganisations.
So, who will Circle make any more cash to really eat into the debt and as the architect of this dubious deal the non clinical "Dr" Dunn claims?....they wont.

Unless the PCT and the forthcoming CCG's favour Hinchingbrooke Hospital for treatment,(I hazard a guess DOH "guidance" will "encourage" this) and the upcoming health bill's "Bung Tariff" (higher than normal payment)used then they wont make any more surplus than they currently do.
If this happens, having more activity(patients through the door) and a higher tariff(payment for work) then this is unfair and again I said this would happen if/when Circle or anyone else was handed the Hinchingbrooke Management to make it work,or seen to work.

The only other means to save cash is for staff numbers, already cut to the bone, to be further reduced.
I know of managers who have already been "encouraged" to consider early retirement and the TUPE crowd as I have already explained will also be fair game for the Circle axeman.

I also wonder, not as so much as to who pays, but should something go wrong in the hospital that requires repair. I ask this as the back up generator at Hinchingbrooke is now a little suspect and was noticed during last Friday's power cut. We all know the NHS will have to pay for this to be repaired or replaced BUT how will Circle react to a failure like this and what procedures are in place for such an occurance?....

There will be more to follow on from this but remember......under the terms of the "deal".... Circle Health can get out of the contract at any time.....

My words to them is.... Get out now, while you can or you will regret it...