Commissioning

16.01.18

NHS enforces contingency plans to combat Carillion collapse

NHS Improvement has put contingency plans in place following the announcement that one of the UK’s biggest construction and service providers has gone into liquidation.

Carillion announced that it would be declaring insolvency yesterday, prompting NHSI to implement the plans, which it says it has been preparing for months alongside NHS England and local trusts.

While government services across other sectors have been heavily affected by the fall of the company, the NHS only has 14 trusts receiving services.

There are two sites controlled by trusts which are undergoing construction which involves Carillion, while the other trusts have the company operating a mix of construction and maintenance services.

NHSI said it deployed staff to the six biggest hospital sites yesterday to offer assistance, but found that most of the Carillion staff had turned up to work as normal.

A spokesperson for NHSI said: “While the NHS isn’t a particularly large customer of Carillion plc, we have a duty to maintain safe, high quality services for our patients. That’s why we’ve been working with trusts and with private sector providers to have extensive contingency plans in place.

“That these plans have worked well is a tribute to the tireless work by NHS staff and by staff employed by Carillion, who have put huge amounts of effort in at what is a very difficult time for them.”

They went on to say that all NHS sites have remained open and operating as planned.

Carillion crisis raises concern over NHS reliance on private sector

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said that Carillion’s liquidation would inevitably cause some disruption, adding that the issue raised concerns about the NHS using private sector companies to provide services.

“This also raises many questions about the current PFI deals Carillion are involved in but also about outsourcing NHS provision to the private sector,” he explained.

“This is a classic example of what can happen when these deals go wrong – services collapse and taxpayers are expected to foot the bill.

“The BMA has always said that PFIs, and tendering out NHS services, are a drain on the public purse, with private companies gaining at the expense of taxpayers and patients.

“We urgently need government to provide clarity around what happens next and assurances that the hospitals affected will continue to be able to provide high quality services for patients.”

Top image: PA Wire

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