I wrote a week ago about the £3.5m loan that Circle Health had asked for, and obtained, from the government in order to fund a capital investment programme at Hinchingbrooke hospital, the first NHS hospital to be taken over by a private company.

Circle, some of whose major shareholders are substantial contributors to Tory party funds, needed additional funding to carry out their planned investment – and unlike an NHS hospital that couldn’t meet its obligations, it received the requested cash rather than being placed into administration. 

That tells its own story. But it turns out that the £3.5m was not the first funding that Circle has requested and received from the government.

In October last year, the health company received an advance of £4 million from the NHS because of ‘cash flow issues’ – on top of a £46m cash injection it asked shareholders to stump up because of its…

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