Two thirds of contracts for NHS services in England awarded in the last eight months have gone to the private sector
Labour has accused the Government of allowing the private sector to “cherry-pick” successful NHS services after a survey revealed NHS contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds had gone to private companies since the Coalition's health reforms.
The NHS Support Federation, which campaigns against the marketisation of healthcare in the UK, claimed that, from a sample of 57 NHS contracts awarded between April and December 2013, more than two thirds had gone to the private sector – at a total value of £450m.
However, the Government said that the figures were “selective and misleading” and NHS leaders said that the independent sector provided only six per cent of NHS clinical care – a figure that had increased by one per cent since 2010.
The figures were based on contract award notices appearing on a European Union procurement database. Services which passed into private hands included pharmacy services, mental health care, ambulance services and paediatrics.
Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said that the figures proved that the privatisation of the NHS was “proceeding at an alarming pace and scale”.
“While the future demands greater integration of care, David Cameron has set the NHS on the opposite path – a fast-track to fragmentation and privatisation,” he said.
Under the Government’s health reforms, any qualified provider can bid for NHS services that are put out to tender by commissioners. By law, commissioners can avoid the tendering process but have to meet strict guidelines to prove that alternatives have been considered and that existing NHS services are best for patients.
However, the Conservatives said that Labour were guilty of “hypocrisy” over private sector involvement in the health service.
“The reality is that when they left office in 2010, private sector providers carried out five per cent of NHS work, a figure that has only increased by one per cent since then,” a spokesperson said.
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Adam Levine's biggest fan had a panic attack upon meeting him, so the singer laid down on the floor to get a photo with him
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...