Labour urges government to keep NHS contracts ‘in public hands’

As reported by, the Labour Party is calling on Matt Hancock to ensure 26 NHS contracts don’t fall into private hands

With 26 health service contracts – worth over £128m – currently out to tender, the Labour Party is urging Matt Hancock to keep keep them out of private companies’ hands.

One of these contracts alone is worth £90m, according to research that Labour commissioned.

Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health and social care secretary, called for a guarantee that these contracts will remain “in public hands” yesterday at a House of Commons debate.

Legislation currently requires CCGs to tender out contracts worth over £615,278, but this may change; the NHS Long-Term Plan stated that the Health and Social Care Act (2012) needs alterations in this area.

“This Health Secretary’s privatisation credentials become clearer by the day, whether it’s promoting GP at Hand to endorsing private dentistry to now allowing millions of pounds worth of health services contracts to be privatised,” Ashworth said.

“But when even NHS bosses are calling for the very worst aspects, the so-called section 75 provisions, of the Tory Health and Social Care Act to be binned surely Mr Hancock should step in, block these tenders and instead guarantee the contracts remains in public hands.

“Otherwise his promises to the Health Select Committee will be exposed as entirely hollow and it will be clear the Tory NHS privatisation agenda continues to run rampant.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson responded: “We’re committed to providing world-class NHS services that are always free at the point of use and are investing £20.5 billion a year extra by 2023/24 to guarantee the future of our health service through the NHS Long Term Plan.

“These decisions are clinically-led by NHS experts and based on what’s best for patients.”

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