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Charity boss lobbied Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, over NHS privatisation, documents show


A charity boss who got members of his organisation to help pay for his birthday party at the House of Lords has been lobbying the Health Secretary for measures that would increase privatisation in the NHS, documents show.

Sir Stephen Bubb, head of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Acevo), urged Jeremy Hunt not to water down regulations that would encourage more private companies into the NHS. The regulations, drawn up as part of the Health and Social Care Act, which came into force in April, require local health bosses to put almost all services out to tender. When the reforms ran into opposition there were reports that they might be watered down.

But Sir Stephen, together with David Worskett,  director of the private healthcare group NHS Partners Network, wrote to Mr Hunt urging him to keep them as they were.

Andrew Robertson, who was given the letter under Freedom of Information rules, for his Social Investigations blog, accused Sir Stephen of “walking hand-in-hand with private healthcare business.”

Last night Sir Stephen said: “I unashamedly believe in a greater role for charities in providing public services and have actively argued for this. Acevo believes that a level playing field in NHS commissioning means that charities can step up to the plate to deliver a wide range of services ranging from hospice care to mental health.”