A privately-run hospital has been taken over by the NHS amid patient safety fears following the deaths of three people after routine surgery.
The Lister Surgicentre in Stevenage has been signed over to the local NHS trust, after the Care Quality Commission began the process of suspending its licence last month.
Local MP Stephen McPartland said the unit had been bought by the Government from Clinicenta Ltd, part of British construction multinational Carillion, for a sum in excess of £54m.
There have been concerns over patient safety at the unit. Mr McPartland said confidence in it was so low that GPs were refusing to refer patients.
“At least three people died, 8,500 patient records were lost and a whole host of serious failings led to the Care Quality Commission beginning proceedings to suspend Clinicenta-Carillion's licence to operate at the Surgicentre because of serious concerns for patients' safety,” he said.
The centre, which opened only 18 months ago, provides routine head and neck surgery as well as orthopaedics, gynaecology and eye services. It has six operating theatres, 26 beds and an urgent eye clinic.
The NHS Central Eastern Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) confirmed that services currently provided by Clinicenta will transfer to East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. Services will not be interrupted and the transfer will take place over the next few weeks, according to the CSU. The transfer of services had been mutually agreed by the Department of Health, East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England and Clinicenta.
Mr McPartland said that Carillion “should never be allowed to manage another hospital facility in the UK” and criticised the former Labour government for putting “a building company in charge of highly sensitive and complex surgical procedures”.
A representative for Carillion could not be reached for comment.
Mr McPartland added: “I am delighted that the Lister Surgicentre will now be managed by the Lister Hospital which is a centre of clinical excellence. We can now begin the job of rebuilding trust and this facility with state of the art equipment can be managed properly inside our NHS, where it should have been from day one.”
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