Hinchingbrooke Hospital returns to NHS control

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Hinchingbrooke Hospital, the first to be run by a private provider, has returned to NHS control today following Circle's withdrawal.

Circle has donated 3,100,000 share options to the Hinchingbrooke Hospital charitable fund as a final gesture.

The decision to withdraw from the contract to run the hospital early was announced in January, hours before a highly critical report by the Care Quality Commission into the hospital was released.

Alan Burns, formerly CEO of Cambridgeshire Health Authority and until recently an executive coach for managers in the public sector will be the new chairman of the trust running the hospital.

The hospital is currently in special measures following the CQC report.

Under the terms of the deal Circle is liable for all costs incurred as a result of the withdrawal, though these have been lower than they would have been had the contract been retendered.

The NHS' trust development authority is to give Hinchingbrooke £9.6m of funding to help plug the deficit which led to circle's withdrawal.

Circle has previously said that it remains open to future partnerships with the NHS.

Burns said: "This is a great opportunity and a challenge. I am delighted to be joining the Trust to lead and support Hinchingbrooke staff at all levels to deliver improvements which ensure our patients receive the best possible care.

"I look forward to meeting all those connected with the hospital to understand the issues and their aspirations and plans for the future.

"I hope to meet members of our community at the first public board meeting for the new NHS Board on 1 April, where we will enact some legally necessary decisions, but also begin the process of setting strategic objectives and direction."

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