Outsourcing firm Capita is looking to take over at least four NHS quangos that currently employ nearly 12,000 people and have a combined budget of more than £2.6bn.
Already the largest outsourcing contractor for government, the company wants to take on the functions of the NHS Litigation Authority, NHS Direct, Blood and Transplant and the NHS Business Services Authority.
Capita health division managing director Beverley Bryant told HSJ the company was looking to run the arm’s length bodies.
Asked what new areas Capita was seeking to exploit in the wake of the NHS white paper Ms Bryant said: “Our main interest is in the arm’s length bodies. They [the government] have come out and said they are getting rid of a lot of the quangos and the ones that remain will be subject to getting the private sector involved. Running the administration of those kinds of bodies is the bread and butter of Capita healthcare.
“We are particularly interested in the Litigation Authority, NHS Direct, Blood and Transplant, NHS Business Services Authority. We are really strong in those areas.”
The Department of Health’s arm’s length body review said the Litigation Authority and the BSA will be “subject to a commercial review to identify potential opportunities for greater efficiency through outsourcing, disinvestment and contestability and/or employee ownership” (news, page 6, 29 July).
The review ruled out “a different delivery model” for Blood and Transplant as this would “risk destabilising the national donor system”. However, its bio products laboratory will be transferred into a DH owned company.
The review was silent on NHS Direct.