Published: 11/08/2005, Volume II5, No. 5967 Page 7

A former Department of Health senior civil servant who was part of the team that secured the first set of multi-million pound deals between the NHS and the private sector has been named chief executive of Capio Healthcare UK.

The British Medical Association claimed the appointment raised conflict of interest issues because Dr Tom Mann had left his job as director of the DoH's national implementation team less than two years before he joined Capio.

A Department of Health spokesman told HSJ that Dr Mann had left his DoH job in February 2004, but had then worked as an adviser to the DoH's commercial directorate through his consultancy firm.

He confirmed that 'business appointment rules require former senior civil servants to seek approval for appointments for up to two years after leaving government employment in certain circumstances'. He would not say whether Dr Mann had sought this approval. He said the DoH would not comment further on 'personal employment details of a former member of staff'.

A Capio spokesperson said Dr Mann had not been involved in any DoH contract negotiations with the private sector for 'over a year'.

BMA consultants committee chair Dr Paul Miller said the appointment 'raises obvious questions of conflict of interest and propriety' because Dr Mann had been 'a very senior civil servant intimately involved with the independent treatment centre programme'.

Dr Mann was unavailable for comment as HSJ went to press.