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Private sector opportunity at Weston Hospital falls through

Plans to potentially franchise out the management of Weston General Hospital to the private sector have been scrapped in favour of keeping it within the remit of the NHS.

Weston Area Health NHS Trust, which manages the hospital, said that it is now pursuing an “NHS only” route for the future management of the hospital.

The trust started an open market procurement process for other organisations to run the site because it is too small to become a foundation trust in its own right.

Nick Wood, chief executive of the trust, said that the new decision to limit who could run the hospital to NHS organisations was because of “significant improvements” to the trust.

The improvements have been made to clinical services, quality, patient experiences and financial stability.

Now the NHS Trust Development Authority will assist the trust in either merging with another NHS trust or being acquired by an NHS foundation trust within a 50-mile radius.

Trade Union Unison and campaigners had previously voiced opposition to the idea of a private company potentially running the hospital trust.

Over 10 bids were submitted from private companies, including one from Circle.

The news comes after the plan to franchise out the management of the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust was dropped in the final stages due to “significant improvements” to care at the hospital. Care UK and Circle were two of the three bidders who had made it through to the final round.

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Posted on: 04/06/2014

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