The government tells us, “in spite of the recent G4S debacle and others like it, that private companies run a ‘tighter ship’; that they are leaner, more efficient, and give better value for taxpayers’ money – in spite of the obvious flaw in the argument, which is that if you’re taking profits out of the total funding, that money will never be spent at the frontline”. And Circle Health is telling us that it is even putting profit before the investment it acknowledges that it needs to carry out, and going back – cap in hand – to the taxpayer for another handout.

How long do we have to put up with these corporate spongers, scrounging cash from a government that must be either gullible to the point of drooling imbecility or utterly corrupt, with the latter seeming more likely every day?

SKWAWKBOX

You couldn’t make it up. Stafford hospital was placed into administration by the government for supposed financial ‘unsustainability’, in spite of the Trust being ahead of financial targets agreed with the Dept of Health (DH) and regulatory body Monitor just last year.

The ‘Trust Special Administrators’ appointed over Mid Staffs will give their final recommendations on Wednesday. Those in the know are trailing that the decision will be a bad one for the people of Stafford and its surrounds, 51,000 of whom marched for the preservation of their hospital to little media attention, with the hospital radically downgraded and residents forced to endure a likely 45-minute journey (or often longer) to reach emergency care.

The battle to save Lewisham hospital goes on, as residents fight desperately to overturn a decision to downgrade their hospital to little more than a hip and knee replacement centre because a different London Trust got…

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