Alan Johnson, the health secretary, seems to have given special access to a private NHS contractor owned by one of the biggest donors to his deputy leadership campaign.
Johnson held a meeting in his offices with Reg Race of Quality Health, a firm that has been paid millions of pounds to conduct surveys for the NHS. Race is a long-term Labour donor and former left wing MP.
He had earlier given £5,000 to Johnson’s deputy leadership campaign.
Johnson met Race at the department for health on 12 November. No civil servants were at the meeting and no minutes were kept.
Race and Johnson discussed Quality Health’s NHS contracts.
The company is one of a select group of “approved contractors” that health trusts must hire to conduct staff and patient surveys.
The company has contracts with 320 of the 487 NHS trusts to conduct annual surveys introduced by Labour in 2003.