Senior executive overseeing 'NHS 111' roll-out to join private health company with the highest number of out-of-hours care contracts

 

The man overseeing the roll-out of ‘NHS 111’ is to join the private health company which today became the single biggest provider of the out-of-hours care helpline.

Care UK is to provide out-of-hours medical care to 15million people across the country after buying key competitor Harmoni, which had many of the coveted NHS 111 helpline contracts.

The roll-out of the NHS 111 helpline – a new service for people in need of urgent medical attention but not an ambulance – has been overseen by Jim Easton, the Department of Health’s national director of improvement and efficiency since 2009.

Mr Easton is leaving his senior NHS post to join Care UK as its managing director.

His move raises further questions about the “revolving door” between government and private sector companies which are benefiting from the outsourcing of public services.

In a letter to NHS managers in June this year Mr Easton, who has 20 years executive experience in the NHS, said: “The Secretary of State for Health and I are fully committed to the delivery of an integrated 24/7 urgent care service, accessed through NHS 111, and that ensures people receive the right care, from the right person, in the right place, at the right time.”

He granted a six month extension for the roll-out, to October 2013, and a handful of contracts are still up for grabs.

Every NHS organisation at local and national level has produced a Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) plan. These plans detail to the department of health how services will be improved while making required savings of £20bn by 2014/15.

More than half of the QIPPs identified NHS 111 as a key part of their improvement and efficiency plans. Mr Easton is head of QIPP.

The £48million deal is a boost to Care UK’s ambitions after it lost out on a number of the NHS 11 contracts to Harmoni earlier this year. Harmoni has been sold by the private equity company ECI Partners.

Care UK already had more than 50 primary care services including GP and walk-in services, out of hours, diagnostics centres and prison health services, as well as six elective surgery hospitals.

It is expanding fast across England and this new deal includes eleven NHS 111 contracts, three GP health centres and two urgent care centres.

The department of health said “Jim Easton’s appointment to a new job is subject to approval in line with the [Cabinet Office] appointment rules for senior staff moving to new roles in the independent sector. The rules in his case apply for a two year period after leaving. We cannot say any more before an application to take up an outside appointment has been considered under those rules.”

A Care UK spokeswoman said: “Jim Easton has not yet joined the business and has had no involvement whatsoever in this acquisition.“

Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
news
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
life
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
peopleWrestling veteran drifting in and out of consciousness
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator - Cisco Partner - £110 p/d

£110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator (SC Cleared), Cisco Go...

Recruitment Consultants - IT - Trainee / Experienced

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40-50K first year: SThree: The SThree group i...

Primary teachers needed for supply in Huntingdon

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers need...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone