Senior executive overseeing 'NHS 111' roll-out to join private health company with the highest number of out-of-hours care contracts
Tuesday 06 November 2012
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.“
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...