Wycombe Labour today asked if the public should trust Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group to monitor the poor performance of BUC, a private sector company providing the Bucks out-of hours GP service and the Minor Injuries and Incidents Unit at Wycombe hospital.
Eight members of Chiltern CCG’s Executive Team have a financial interest in BUC; two of these are also on the CCG’s Governing Body.
Chiltern CCG has allowed BUC to sit on a report exposing understaffing at the MIIU for four months while local GPs have expressed their concern with the Unit and the GPs out –of –hours service, both of which they describe as “unsafe for patients”.
Dr Mallard-Smith who is Clinical Commissioning Director –Urgent Care and a member of the CCG’s Executive Team and its Governing Board, also chairs the Joint Executive Committee responsible for the MIIU contract. Dr Mallard-Smith has a financial interest in Chiltern Health Limited, part owners of BUC, according to the CCG’s register of interests.
According to the register, seven other members of the Executive Team also have a financial
interest in BUC. They are:
- Dr Raj Bajwa
- Dr Steve Murphy
- Dr Raj Takkar
- Dr Conan Hassim- Dr Sian Roberts
- Dr Rashmi Sawhney
- Dr Peter Newman
Dr Bajwa is also a member of the CCG Governing Board.
Linda Derrick, Wycombe Labour’s health spokesperson said, “It has taken 4 months to get this report into the public domain because BUC were allowed to “approve” the report.
The CCG has so far remained silent on the findings.
So we don’t know if the CCG has required BUC to comply with its contract and provide adequate staffing. Has the CCG penalised BUC and withheld payments because BUC has not provided an adequate service?
Or has the CCG simply paid BUC the money to provide an inadequate service and take even more profits from the NHS? And does the CCG see the conflict when some of that profit will find its way into the pockets of some CCG Directors and senior staff.
This isn’t a theoretical issue. BUC are putting patients at risk because it does not provide sufficient GPs and nurses. The greater the under- staffing, the higher the profits to BUC. And the higher the profits to BUC, the higher the profits to eight members of Chiltern CCG’s Executive Team. “
David Williams, QC, Wycombe Labour’s Parliamentary candidate, added, “This is the reality of the creeping privatisation of the NHS. Public money being paid to private companies for providing an inadequate service.
Whilst the USA has, at long last, recognised the benefits of universal health care, the Conservatives are heading in the opposite direction. And we have to ask for whose benefit?
Steve Baker has a draft report from Durrow Consulting on his desk right now. This we suspect will recommend further changes to dilute the principal of a high-quality, low- cost, state- funded NHS by extending private sector ownership of the NHS. Watch this space.”