Socialist Worker

Threat of big cancer care selloff in Staffordshire

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2411

Protesters defending Stafford hospital last year

Protesters defending Stafford hospital last year (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Cancer care could be privatised for the first time in the NHS’s biggest ever outsourcing of services. 

Private healthcare firms are keen to secure a £689 million, ten year contract to provide cancer care in Staffordshire.

Four GP-led clinical commissioning groups in the area care for 767,000 patients. They are also seeking bidders for a separate £535 million contract to provide end of life care.

Together the contracts are worth £1.22 billion and far surpass any previous outsourcing of health services.

The contracts will hand over decision making on cancer and end of life care to private firms.

The companies will not just be tasked with providing key services, they will redesign the whole system of care for the seriously ill and dying.

The Francis inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS scandal blamed cost-cutting and corporate interests. This led to up to 1,200 excess deaths. “Excess” deaths are those above what should normally be expected.

With private firms circling for lucrative contracts in Staffordshire, this will only get worse.


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