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Circle to take over at Hinchingbrooke

It has been announced that Circle Health Limited has signed a definitive contract to run Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust in Huntingdonshire as of February 2012. Circle will manage an estimated £1bn of revenue over the 10 year contract period, becoming the first ever non-state provider to deliver a full range of NHS district general hospital services in the process.


Circle's chief executive, Ali Parsa, said: "At a time when some healthcare commentators say the solution for small district general hospitals is simply to merge or be shut down, we believe NHS Midlands and East's courage and zeal for innovation will enable us to show how clinician and staff control can provide a more sustainable alternative.

“Our partners have now met hundreds of Hinchingbrooke staff, and we know that we share a core value of prioritising patients above all else, and a passion for reengineering healthcare delivery to make it simpler, better and smarter value for the patients."

Should the hospital fall into deficit as part of the transformation, Circle has agreed to make working capital contributions of up to £5m. The contract allows either party to terminate if the Trust incurs more than this £5m in aggregate deficits, at which point Circle is also required to pay a further £2m termination fee to Hinchingbrooke. Circle's liability under the Contract is capped at £7m.

Dr Stephen Dunn, NHS Midlands and East's director of policy and strategy, said: "This is a momentous day. Circle secured this operating franchise following an open competition. They outshone the best of the best from the NHS and independent sectors. This will usher in a new era, unleashing innovation into the NHS, with staff and patients firmly at the centre."