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BMA respond to collapse of private franchise at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

A company which became the first private firm to manage an NHS hospital says it wants to "withdraw from its contract".

Circle Holdings, which operates Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire, said its franchise is "no longer viable under current terms".

Commenting on the announcement that Circle Holdings, which operates Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire, is withdrawing from its contract, Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair said:

“What has happened in Hinchingbrooke shows that the responsibility of running a critical public service can never be handed, over and so the insistence on private providers as a potential solution to problems facing Hinchingbrooke was always misguided. This example also shows that that not even private providers are immune to the extreme financial pressures on NHS services, caused by a shortage of government funding.

“Patient care must remain the absolute priority at Hinchingbrooke hospital as the running of services is transferred. The doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff at the hospital deserve recognition for continuing to provide excellent quality of care for patients, under difficult and uncertain circumstances.

“The BMA’s preference would be for NHS providers over private management, but if the hospital is to be handed over to an NHS Trust to run, the services have to be properly resourced - we cannot continue to meet rising demand with underinvestment. At this moment, Hinchingbrooke’s finances remain in doubt, the hospital needs to put on a sound financial footing or else the problems facing it will only persist.”

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