Monday, 19 May 2014

Oddly the BBC have not reported this NHS story

The 2014 CHKS awards  included at the top of patient care award shortlist an NHS hospital by the name of Hinchingbrooke. Nothing unusual there, there are a lot of NHS hospitals on the various shortlists, but what is odd is that just two years ago Hinchingbrooke Hospital was a failing NHS hospital with debts of £40 million. The Cambridgeshire hospital was described by The Royal College of Surgeons as ‘dysfunctional’. A private firm, Circle, was tasked with the running of this failing hospital and just over two years later, the hospital has won an award. Over that period, the Hospital Trust has also topped a ranking of 46 trusts in the Midlands and East Anglia for A&E waiting times and was fifth for referrals for cancer tests. The Hinchingbrooke Trust loosened the grip of the managers and administrators and now the majority of the 15 board members are clinicians.

It hasn't just been a clinical success, Circle also reduced the £10million annual deficit to £3.5million in its first year and this dropped to £1million last year and the trust expects to break even this year before moving into surplus in 2015. A spokesman for Circle explained this thus:
‘The biggest chunk of the savings was from improving quality. Bad quality care exposes you to lots more litigation for mistakes. Patients also stay longer than necessary or have to come back for further treatment. Locum costs have also dropped. There is a 50 per cent premium for temporary staff and the hospital had problems with recruiting as people didn’t want to work there.’ 
 All sensible and obvious stuff but the NHS hospital needed private sector management to clear away the stultifying bureaucracy that permeates so much of the NHS.

So how are the BBC reporting this news story? You won't be surprised to learn that the answer is - not at all. In fact the last mention of Hinchingbrooke hospital on the BBC news website was in this article that bemoans the news in January this year that

'Almost 70% of contracts for NHS services in England between April-December 2013 were won by private firms, a campaign group claims.'
 If the BBC were an unbiased news reporting organisation then they would report this good news NHS story but as they are in reality a propaganda organisation, campaigning on behalf of various left-wing causes, this story will slip them by. You can guarantee that if the Hinchingbrooke Trust had failed under private control then that would have been headline news on the BBC.

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