Cambridge MP slams failed attempt to outsource local social care to NHS Trust consortium

Daniel Zeichner

Cambridge’s member of parliament, Daniel Zeichner, has criticised the “basic errors” made by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group when it entered into a contract with Uniting Care to provide community care services for the elderly in his constituency.

Uniting Care, a consortium of local NHS Health Trusts, was awarded the £725 million contract in 2014, but walked away in December last year when it could not make it pay. It was beaten to the contract by private operators Virgin Care and Care UK.

Labour MP Mr Zeichner told local newspaper Cambridge News that the process leading up to the failure was flawed from the start. “Forcing the NHS into this crazy contract culture has cost a fortune and is failing patients. Every page of this report is littered with examples of confusion and muddle, with conflicts of interest, and fundamental issues like who pays the VAT left unresolved,” he said in reference to a report published by NHS England this week.

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“The Conservatives wanted to create a market. Instead they have created expensive confusion, with highly-paid advisers making a series of basic errors. Ministers hide behind the excuse of ignorance, but there has been enough buck-passing and it is time Jeremy Hunt apologised for this hugely expensive failure,” he added.

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