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Task force packed with privateers backs outsourcing plan for NHS recovery

A barrage of publicity surrounded the publication last week of the long-awaited report of Rishi Sunak’s 17-strong “taskforce” on elective recovery, which was set up last December.

There was no surprise that its focus was on ways of maximising the use of private hospitals and on getting private providers to run new Community Diagnostic Centres (CDC).

A quarter of the 17 places on the taskforce were taken up by representatives of the private sector: (Independent Healthcare Provider Network (IHPN) boss David HareDr Paul Manning, chief medical officer of US-owned Circle Healthcare, owner of the UK’s largest chain of private hospitals, Darsjak Shah from private eye health firm Newmedica, and Medefer CEO Dr Bahman Nedjat-Shokouhi).

In addition to minister Will Quince the taskforce also included two right wing government advisors, Robert Ede from neoliberal think tank Policy Exchange and Bill Morgan, founding partner from PR and lobbying firm Evoke Incisive Health whose clients have included the IHPN, the now-defunct Virgin Care – which sued the NHS over a lost contract, and private mental health provider Cygnet – owner of two hospitals exposed by a BBC Panorama investigation and by CQC inspectors.

Full story in The Lowdown, 9 August 2023

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