Saturday, 20 October 2012
An Apology to Circle Health
AN APOLOGY TO CIRCLE HEALTH
In several posts on my blog “The Green Benches” in 2012, I made a number of defamatory statements about Circle Health. I now acknowledge that there was no truth to those statements, and am happy to correct the position as follows:
1. Circle has not sacked any cleaning staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. When re-negotiating its agreement with the external contractor which supplies cleaning services at Hinchingbrooke, Circle ensured that cleaning of all clinical areas (including wards) has been maintained, and in some areas increased.
2. The outbreak of a bug in a ward at Hinchingbrooke was caused by patients arriving at the hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting. It was not as a result of any reduction in cleaning services at the hospital.
3. Circle has not sacked any nurses at Hinchingbrooke.
4. Hinchingbrooke Hospital has to date received fewer complaints since Circle took over the running of the hospital than for the same period last year.
5. The staff sickness rate at Hinchingbrooke has also decreased since Circle took over the running of the hospital.
6. Circle does not engage in kickbacks, nor has it entered into any “lock-in”agreements with GPs. Circle’s contracts with consultants are legal, ethical and transparent. They always include an obligation on the consultant to act in accordance with all guidance issued by the GMC on clinical, medical and ethical issues and in particular to practise in full accord with the statements on Good Medical Practice issued from time to time by the GMC and the consultant’s own Royal College.
7. There have been no deaths linked to C-Difficile at Hinchingbrooke since Circle took over the running of the hospital.
8. Circle has not sacked 73 staff at Hinchingbrooke, nor do they plan to sack 320 staff in total.
9. Circle has not sought approval to sell the estate of Hinchingbrooke Hospital, nor has such approval been granted by the Trust Board. Furthermore, Circle does not own the estate of Hinchingbrooke Hospital therefore if any sale of land took place, Circle would not profit from the sale.
10. Circle has not, and will not, prevent or impede the use of Hinchingbrooke Hospital by NHS patients in order to increase the number of private patients treated at the hospital. The franchise agreement under which Circle runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital specifically states that private patients can only be treated at Hinchingbrooke “provided that such treatment does not adversely affect the treatment of NHS patients”.
I would like to offer my sincere apologies to Circle Health for any inconvenience and damage which the untrue statements in my blog have caused. I have removed the offending posts from the blog and undertaken not to repeat the allegations which I made.