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.“

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
News
An Apple iPhone 6 stands on display at the Apple Store
businessRegulators give iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the green light
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Britain's internet habits have been revealed in a new survey
tech
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Arts and Entertainment
film
News
news
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

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Science Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Science Supply Teacher position...

Teaching Assistant

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Randstad Education is recruiting ...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style