STRUCTURE: The UK’s only privately-run NHS hospital will be handed back to the health service next month, the NHS Trust Development Authority has confirmed.

Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust, which was placed in special measures in January, is “to return to traditional NHS trust legal and governance arrangements from 1 April”, according to a paper discussed at the TDA’s board meeting on 19 March.

Circle, the private company that currently runs the hospital, announced in January that it planned to pull out of its 10 year contract.

The announcement came shortly before trust was rated as “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission and subsequently placed into special measures by the TDA.

The trust was rated it ‘inadequate’ on the questions of whether it is caring, safe and well led. It is the first time the CQC has rated a NHS provider inadequate on how caring it is.

Oversight of Circle’s contract was described as “poor and inadequate” with “no one…held accountable for the consequences”, in a highly critical report by the Commons public accounts committee, published earlier this week.