Controversial Surgicentre ‘bought back by the NHS’ after failings, says MP

Stevenage's Lister Surgicentre

Stevenage's Lister Surgicentre - Credit: Josh Massey

THE Government has stepped in to buy back a privately-run clinic amid huge concerns over the quality of treatment, an MP has claimed.

Stephen McPartland

Stephen McPartland - Credit: Archant

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland says the Surgicentre - which treats Welwyn Hatfield patients - has been bought by the Government from Clinicenta Ltd.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has welcomed the news, branding the centre “substandard”.

Whitehall paid more than £53 million, and handed it to the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust to manage.

It comes after health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had begun the process of suspending Clinicenta’s licence.

It follows an unannounced inspection by the CQC which found the Surgicentre, based at Lister Hospital, does not have an effective health, safety and welfare system in place, which was having a major impact on patients.

The Surgicentre offers day case surgery and some short-stay surgery - including orthopaedics - as well as eye services.

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Mr McPartland had been pushing for Clinicenta’s licence to be revoked.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted with the news. It has been a long and difficult campaign, but I have persuaded Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, that ClinicentaCarillion just had to go so patients can be safe.

“The service never reached a satisfactory standard, despite the best efforts of the NHS staff, who work in the facility on a day-to-day basis under intolerable pressure.

“The Surgicentre was not managed properly and we are clearing up the mess of the previous government, which placed a building company in charge of highly sensitive and complex surgical procedures. This must never happen again.”

After the news broke, Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps said: “Quite simply, the Surgicentre was never managed properly by ClinicentaCarillion.

“By having the facility brought back into the NHS we are clearing up the mess of the previous government which signed this incompetent deal in the first place.

“It resulted in poor value for the taxpayer, enormously long waiting lists for patients and potentially sub-standard healthcare that had a serious impact on some individuals.

“The causes will be disputed, but at least three people died following surgery, 8,500 patient records were lost and there were a whole host of serious failings that led to the Care Quality Commission beginning proceedings to suspend ClinicentraCarillion’s licence to operate at the Surgicentre.”

Mr McPartland said profits had been put before patient safety, “playing roulette with our local health service”.

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