MP Julian Huppert has won his fight to bring Hinchingbrooke Hospital back into public management after the failure of the £1 billion private contract with Circle.
Work is taking place to terminate an agreement with Circle and make the Trust’s transition back into NHS management on March 31.
Julian said: “I am relieved that Hinchingbrooke Hospital will be once again run by the NHS and not a private company and we can put right the mistakes made in 2009.
“This was a hugely expensive experiment initiated by Labour that went spectacularly wrong. It demonstrates the danger of involving private companies that have to satisfy their shareholders.
“Labour acted against union advice and signed off the £1 billion tender. By the time they left office the following year every NHS-led bid had been rejected making sure the contract went to a private company.
“But, when Circle failed to make a profit it pulled out in the middle of the winter leaving the hospital’s future uncertain. Now we can bring the hospital back into public management and start addressing the problems it has, putting patients first.”
Within hours of Circle making the decision to quit, Julian had launched a petition calling for Hinchingbrooke to be brought back ‘in-house’ in a bid to put it on a stronger footing.
He raised the issue with the government and the Lords Minister for Quality Lord Howe told him in a letter that the NHS Trust Development Authority is working with Circle on a termination agreement.
“Under the terms of the franchise agreement the Trust Board functioned in a different way from a ‘typical’ NHS trust,” he said. “The NHS TDA is working to revert the Trust’s governance system processes and structure to those of a ‘typical’ NHS Trust.
“At this stage, both parties are working towards a termination date of 31 March. After that date the new board will take over responsibility for management of the Trust. It will work with local partners on the development of a new strategy that aligns to the wider Cambridgeshire and Peterborough strategic review that is currently underway.”
Julian added: “We have seen the danger of putting our health services out to private ownership. That is why I fought so hard to make sure we kept the private sector out of the running of our elderly people’s services.
“Healthcare should be run by the people who know it best – the NHS. I hope that lessons can be learnt from this for the future of healthcare.”