Thursday, 17 November 2011

Lib Dems Optimistic Hospital Will Be Saved Under New Deal

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats are optimistic that the franchise deal for Huntingdon’s struggling Hinchingbrooke Hospital will bring security for patients and staff.

They believe the move to allow private provider, CIRCLE, to run the hospital was the only way to guarantee its future.

Geoff Heathcock, Cambridgeshire County Council Shadow Cabinet Member for Health welcomed the news saying: “I hope now that we can see this hospital turned around to give security to both staff and patients.

"But patients and staff need re-assurance through full details of the financial arrangements so that they can see exactly how CIRCLE will find the £40 million to balance the hospital’s books which was the whole reason it was brought in in the first place.”

“The situation was so severe that the future of Hinchingbrooke was in serious doubt. It was vital to take this action so that we did not lose it.

“The most important thing to remember here is that patient care will continue and be protected. The hospital will continue to deliver NHS services to patients free of charge, and the hospital will return to the NHS when the franchise ends.”  

The process for selecting Circle is not connected to the coalition government’s Health and Social Care Bill. It started under the last Labour Government and the decision was made to transfer the management of Hinchingbrooke under powers set up by Labour in 2001.