NHS Hospital Begins Franchising Process

Cambridge Evening News:

A process which will lead to the management of Hinchingbrooke Hospital being franchised, possibly to the private sector, has started.

The scheme is the first of its kind in the country and follows debts of nearly £40 million being run up at the NHS hospital.

Members of the stakeholder panel, set up to represent the interests of local people, met for the first time at Hinchingbrooke House and will hold six meetings in public up to January 2011 while the franchising arrangements are made.

The meeting was held to set out how the panel, made up from representatives of health organisations, unions, councils and volunteer groups, would work in future. Some members were concerned over whether they would have any direct input into drawing up the franchises.

David Monks, chief executive of Huntingdonshire District Council and panel chairman, told the News their role would become clearer as the process progressed.

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