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Private firms bidding to run NHS cancer care

Private firms bidding to run NHS cancer care

External firms are  bidding to run Staffordshire cancer care in a deal worth £1.2bn.

Dave Prentis the general secretary of UNISON Britain’s largest health union aired his concerns: “It is alarming to see that only two NHS bidders are in the shortlist for the contract” he said.

Three private firms are bidding to run NHS cancer care for the first time in the history of the health service in the biggest ever outsourcing deal worth £1.2billion, reports the Mirror

CSC Computer Sciences, Interserve Investments and United Health have all been named on the shortlist to run cancer care across Staffordshire.

The contract is worth £687million. It will initially cover breast, bladder, lung and prostate cancer, but will later expand to run all cancer services – from diagnosis through to treatment.

CSC Computer Sciences is a US technology firm and Interserve Investments is a major investor in PFI projects. United Health is one of the world’s largest private health firms.

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, the county’s biggest hospital provider, and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, were also named as pre-qualified bidders for the cancer contract.

All five organisations were also named on the official shortlist to run end of life care across Staffordshire in a second contract worth £535million.

A further two private firms are also bidding to provide end of life care across the country. They are Health Management and Virgin Care.

The two 10-year “prime provider” contracts – worth £1.2billion in total – have proved hugely controversial.

Critics claim the deals will have major implications for the health service, and argue they are “a dangerous experiment the NHS cannot afford”.