Showing posts with label 'CCGs'. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 'CCGs'. Show all posts

Monday, 24 February 2014

Non-Executive Director Nadhim Zahawi's Firm Joins One Million New NHS Recruitment Bonanza

Research conducted by Social Investigations has revealed a million pound recruitment bonanza for just three companies attached to Lords and an MP made possible thanks to their vote.

When the Health and Social Care bill was being debated in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi rose in defence of the beleaguered Andrew Lansley to say GPs were “absolutely passionate” about the reforms and that it was a “brilliant piece of legislation”.

Nadhim Zahawi sits on the board as a non-executive director of recruitment company SThree for which he receives regular monthly payments of £2,916.67 for 7 hours work.

Sthree is the parent company of international recruitment leaders Real Staffing, who work in the Healthcare & Life Sciences sectors.

His enthusiasm for the reforms was abundantly clear and his vote helped pass the bill into an Act, which created the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Now, it can revealed that Real Staffing have been working with the new CCGs through new revenue opportunities made possible by Mr Zahawi’s vote.

The recruitment company, who has previously worked in other areas of the NHS, turned their sights on CCGs once they took over commissioning responsibilities. Freedom of Information requests sent out to all CCGs, revealed that the new commissioners have spent over two million pound on services provided by Real Staffing, covering areas such as Programme projects, Business Infomatics and administration posts.

The financial benefits for recruitment are clear, costing one CCG £486,000 for 11 staff at a cost to the Bromley CCG of over £44,000 per position filled.

Personnel Profit
Companies attached to MPs and Lords have led the recruitment bonanza in the new NHS, providing personnel into key positions in the new structure created by the Health Act.

NHS regulator and competition enforcer, Monitor, has spent close to half a million on two companies attached to Lords to fill senior positions. Following a Freedom of Information request, it was discovered that one of the companies, Odgers Berndtson, filled 12 senior personnel at a cost of close to £200,000 in agency fees. The Chairman, Richard Boggis-Rolfe, has given £207,500 in donations to the Conservative party between 2006 up until the General election. Odgers employ Baroness Bottomley as Chair of the Board and CEO practice and she also holds shares in their holding company Broomco Ltd.

The question this blog keeps asking is why are MPs allowed to vote on legislation when they have a financial interest? At local government level, anyone with a financial or non-financial interest, is debarred from the vote. Given that Real Staffing have now gained revenue through the CCGs, Mr Zahawi was asked whether his vote was for the benefit of Sthree through Real Staffing or in the interest of the public and whether he thought it was acceptable that there should be a difference between the rules that apply to MPs and councillors.
He failed to address this question stating only that his appointment with SThree took place in 2008, prior to becoming an MP. He also stated that Real Staffing have been providing services to the public sector prior to his appointment onto the board and that he “never discussed any bills with any board members."
This may be the case, but why is the public placed in a position in which they are forced to take the word of an MP, when such doubt should be removed altogether. The intentional loop-hole in the rules weakens democracy and places distrust in the eyes of the public whether justified or otherwise.

In the meantime, the amount of companies that are financially connected to MPs and Lords who have gone on to gain contracts in the new NHS continues to increase and the question is, who do our parliamentarians serve?

Monday, 1 July 2013

Baroness Headhunter Company Making Money from Her Vote

New research conducted by Social Investigations has revealed a Head Hunter firm with financial links to a Conservative Baroness has been able to gain revenue directly from changes that took place because of the Health and Social Care Act on which the Baroness voted. Furthermore, the Chairman of the company has funded the Conservative party in a process that changes the NHS from within.

Baroness Bottomley is the Chair of the Board and CEO practice of Odgers Berndtson and also holds shares in their holding company Broomco Ltd.

The head hunter company works in thirteen industry areas including Healthcare, and been heavily involved in vetting key personnel into the new NHS

Their website boasts of their ‘unparalleled reach across the NHS, (and) private sector healthcare...(which) enables us to attract inspirational candidates others might never find.’

A key part of the Health and Social Care Act was to move commissioning responsibility for NHS services from Primary Care Trusts to the newly formed Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Thursday, 19 April 2012

National Clinical Commissioning Conference Links Multiple Private Health Companies to Lords and MPs

A national conference for CCG leaders to air their ‘concerns’ over the implementation of clinical commissioning, is littered with companies who have financial links to Lords and MPs. The event, which is titled ‘Defining Our Future’, is sponsored by Capita, a private company winning contracts for developing the CCGs.  

The Capita partnership includes amongst it clients: Beachcroft, PHAST, NHS Alliance (Who are hosting the event), Foresight partnership, Ville & Company, and Penna.

Capita partner Beachcroft, is one of the largest commercial law firms in the UK and is widely regarded as the leading legal adviser to the health and social care sector. To their advantage, they have Lord Hunt of Wirral as a partner. In October 2008 when speaking in a healthcare debate in the Lords, the Peer stated: “A Bill is due to be introduced later this year which will attract considerable attention not only from within the NHS but from firms in the private health sector and from professional advisers.”

Lord Hunt is not alone in being involved in a company that has moved into a position where it can make money from the reforms; in which he voted; which he did in all the key areas of the debate as it passed through the House. Baroness Cumberlege positioned her company Cumberlege Connections, into an alliance led by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as she debated the merits of the bill in the House. The story of her involvement is well covered here.

Included in Beachcroft’s connections to power, is former Labour MP for Norwich South Charles Clarke, who was listed in the 2008 register of interests as a consultant to commercial firm Beachcroft LLP. When Mr Clarke was a sitting MP, he promoted the idea that the NHS should charge for 'peripheral treatments'. In 2008, he was also registered as a consultant to KPMG LLP, on the 'future of public service reform.' KPMG are heavily involved in implementing changes in the NHS and its commissioning groups.

Companies in the KPMG partnership with links to parliamentarians are UK law firm Morgan Cole, who have Conservative MEP Ashley Fox as their connection, who was an Associate to the company until 2009 when he was elected to the European Parliament. In addition, I.T. company McKesson
Information Solutions Ltd, have Lord Carter as their chairman. The Labour Peer is also the chairman of the NHS Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP), a conflict of interest, which in a statement made by McKesson to the Guardian is avoided because he: "steps down from any investigation where there is potential conflict of interest.” 

So that’s alright then.

The list of companies in partnerships winning contracts to develop CCGs and having connections to Lords and MPs doesn’t end there. In 2008, Conservative MP for Bexhill and Battle Gregory Baker, had shares in Penna plc, who deliver HR services to the NHS and are in the Capita partnership. PricewaterhouseCoopers (Pwc) donated more than £100,000 worth of professional advice to some of the Conservative Party's most senior politicians in the first quarter of the year. A total of £102,950 was donated  in non-cash gifts, however it isn’t just the Conservatives. PwC have also donated in the form of research assistants to Ed Balls, John Denham, Caroline Flint, Chuka Umanna as part of their continual involvement in influencing government policy no matter who gets into power. 

Lord Darzi, a former surgeon drafted into government as a health minister by Gordon Brown when he was PM, is now an adviser to medical technology firm GE Healthcare, another ‘Approved Provider.' When speaking at a stage of the Health and Social Care bill when a proposal was put forward to prevent the reading of the bill going any further, he said: ‘he would find it 'difficult at this stage' to vote for blocking the Bill...'I am speaking as a surgeon, not a politician.'

McKinsey also involved in the CCG creations , and who have been accused of being a shadow government  in an article written by George Monbiot, gave £10,000 to David Milliband for a speech made at a Global Business Leaders Summit in February last year. The former foreign secretary also received a sum of £10,044 from the same company for travel expenses and accommodation for a meeting in Singapore in March 2011. In addition to this, Conservative Peer Lord Blackwell, was a partner with McKinsey and Company between 1978 and 1994.

The links to Lords and MPs in this conference, highlights once more the driving force of private companies in the changing state of the NHS.