Staffordshire’s plan to privatise cancer care for £1.2 billion could mean a big boost. However, there’s a large chance that patients may have poor care, have some hospices closed and have smaller budgets for treatment.
According to the document four local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in the outsourcing deal, they plan to appoint one company as a prime provider of cancer services, which includes treatment, aftercare and diagnosis. They plan to have other services sub-contracted as well
Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Stafford Kate Godfrey campaigned the document endorses the winning bidder to have “full discretion” to design the services they would deliver for NHS patients. This would mean a per-patient type of service, and the proposal of a new payment structure that would be beneficial to themselves.
She also stressed that “core NHS responsibilities could be delivered to the private sector, which includes radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy. The regulation of such services could be difficult.”
She added that the winning bidders would also have the freedom to alter or exit any contract without patients having the chance to challenge the decision.
The Clinical Commissioning Groups had stated this in response:
“The commissioners [CCGs] have identified that the current service model for cancer patients has serious shortcomings which can cause people to experience real problems with their care, including: poor information and communication; unnecessary delays (some due to systems and processes); lack of compassion; dignity and respect; no coordination across services; people having to give their details repeatedly; lack of effective care planning with little/no involvement of the patient or carer in that care planning.”