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Two of George Eliot's suitors announce alliance

Two of the bidders to take over the management of a district general hospital trust have announced a partnership deal.

Outsourcing firm Serco and South Warwickshire Foundation Trust have both previously expressed interest in running George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

But on Tuesday they announced they would be working together in an “innovation partnership”.
The alliance does not mean the partners will enter a joint bid, although this has not been ruled out. If they submit separate bids and one is successful, the winner is likely to draw on the partner’s expertise.
A joint statement said South Warwickshire and Serco would work together to improve patient care “across the region”. Serco and South Warwickshire said one example of an area where they could work together was on patients with long-term conditions.
George Eliot is waiting to hear from the Department of Health whether it would allow a private franchise management team to take over the running of the trust.
Interest has already been expressed by Care UK, Serco and Circle. The foundation trusts in the running to take over George Eliot are South Warwickshire, Burton Hospitals, and the Dudley Group of Hospitals.

Readers' comments (8)

  • OFT should be asked to look at the legality of any bids -- there could be the risk of price-fixing with such a "partnership."

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  • If there ever is a procurement process for George Eliot then surely bidders could partner with whoever they want. As for price fixing, don't we have a national tariff?

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  • How ironic, having worked for years to get the then prickly Chief Execs of South Warwickshire and George Elliott to consider a trust merger.

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  • It is blindingly obvious that George Elliott should merge with adjoining University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust. But the latter is not a 'Foundation Trust' so cannot bid.

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  • Theer are many excellent private sector hospital management firms around the world, with experience of running large acute hospitals including A&E, some of whom operate in the UK.

    Why do none of these firms ever show interest in such contracts. Has anyone looked at the track record of the three expressing interest here:
    - Circle. Heavily loss making and experience limited to ISTCs, loss making private hospitals and loss making Hinchingbroke
    - Care UK. Healthcare conglomerate with two star appearances on Panorama for social care
    - Serco. Everything they touch in healthcare seems to have major reputational issues, eg out of hours in Cornwall

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  • I think the answer may lay with the leadership that always seem to be at the helm of the senior organisation each time this happens. Remember Hitchingbrooke and surprise surprise now the merger with east mids, another problem is moved off into the private sector...At what point will someone hold this senior management team responsible for the legacy that they are going to leave and the costs to the NHS and public funds when they are returned

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  • To Anon 11.21 above and the comment re Hinchingbrooke, would it surprise anyone that Neil McKays team led by Steve "privatise everything" Dunn is handling the sale?

    Another mates rates deal with a Circle type organisation in the offing?

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  • Dear Annonymous 4:13. As a consequence it is therefore blindingly obvious that George Eliot should merge with South Warwickshire - a Foundation Trust which already runs community services in their patch.

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