Saturday 26 May 2012

Finalists of Private Healthcare Award Ceremony raise glasses with Lords and MPs

An annual award ceremony, promoting the ‘excellence’ and ‘innovation’ of the independent healthcare sector is taking place in London, Thursday, the 31st of May. However, on close inspection, the finalists of this year’s event are notable for their connections to our so-called public servants, many of whom played some part in passing the Health and Social Care bill into an Act.

Black tie evening at the Grosvenor
The dress code is black tie; the setting, the plush surroundings of Central London’s Grosvenor Hotel, the cost of a table for ten, £3,000. Austerity, it seems, has not yet reached the pockets of the private healthcare companies increasingly making money from the our National Health Service.  

Welcome to the annual HealthInvestor Awards 2012, where companies taking their piece from the NHS pie will meet, for a pat on the back for a job well done.  

Even before we go into this year’s finalists, we should take a look at a few of last year’s winners. First up, under the category ‘Consultants of the Year’, the winner was a company called L.E.K consulting. They have Conservative Peer, Lord Wakeham working for them as an advisor, the Rt Honourable Malcolm Rifkind who is a member of the advisory board, and Conservative MP for Bedford, Richard Fuller, who worked for the company from 1984 to 2007. L.E.K consultancy is a global company, which specialises in healthcare, providing services, which include, business growth, and ‘new opportunities with government.’ Success comes often to L.E.K consultancy, who won the Healthcare Sector Adviser of the Year Award for the supposedly ‘prestigious’ Acquisitions Monthly awards, in 2010. Across Europe, L.E.K. have provided commercial advice on 19 healthcare sector transactions, one of which being Bridgepoint’s £414 million acquisition of Care UK. Everyone but seemingly the BBC, judging by their lack of challenging on this subject, know that John Nash the chairman of Care UK bankrolled Andrew Lansley’s office.

BBC chief - Lord Patten of Barnes
Bridgepoint, a private equity investment company have BBC chief, Lord Patten of Barnes, as a member of the advisory board. Bridgepoint, have been involved in 17 healthcare deals over recent years, which include four in the UK, one of which being Care UK, at a combined investment worth over £1.1 billion. Another deal saw Tunstall, a telehealth company with contracts in the NHS, acquired by Charterhouse Development Company for £555 million; who have another Lord Patten as their senior advisor. Four companies were involved in the transaction, including; Goldman Sachs, Clifford Chance, KPMG, and LEK, three of which have Lords in senior positions. Lord Griffiths is a director at Goldman Sachs; Lord Harris is a senior advisor at KPMG, and as we know, Lord Wakeham is an adviser to LEK.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Tunstall made up the other winner of the 2011 awards, under the category Telehealth/Telecare, smoothly linking the three winners in the awards to companies who have members of both the House of Commons and House of Lords on their payroll.  

So onto 2012, and what are the chances of a company winning an award this year that has an MP or Lord on its books? The answer would appear to be very good, given that 25 of these year’s finalists pay or donate to our parliamentarians.

Lord Clement-Jones
Let’s start with DLA Piper, a global law firm who provide lobbying services to “clients in the health and social care sectors”. DLA Piper counts failed Care Home provider, Southern Cross amongst its clients. Lord Clement-Jones nominated Lord Hameed for his peerage, a nomination supported by Lord Dholakia. Lord Hameed sits on the board of Alpha hospitals, part of the Alpha Healthcare (C&C Alpha/C&C business solutions) group. The Alpha group has made significant donations to the Liberal Democrat party. The Times exposed Lord Clement-Jones as being the man who nominated Lord Hameed, after the peer had originally said he had 'no idea.'

L.E.K. consulting find themselves in with a chance again this year, in the ‘Strategic consultant of the year’, category, alongside FTI consulting, who have Lord Malloch-Brown as their Chairman of Global Affairs. FTI produced an article called ‘Time for Change’, in September last year, promoting the benefits of the Health and Social Care Act.

Care UK, directly linked to Andrew Lansley through their chairman’s donation to his office, are in the running under the ‘Diagnostics Provider of the Year’, Category for their Rotherham Centre. Just as well they are not in the running for the best financially run company, given their huge debt, revealed by Corporate Watch, in their Care UK fact sheet. Bridgepoint issued a ‘£250 million bond, secured against Care UK’s assets, to fund its acquisition in 2010. It is paying a massive 9.75% interest a year on this, meaning £25 million is leaving the company every year, going straight to banks and financiers.’

Even the sponsorship of the event involves a company with a Peer at the helm. DAC Beachcroft, an international law firm, have Lord Hunt of Wirral as a partner. As the Health and Social Care bill was being debated in the House of Lords, Beachcroft, heavily involved in healthcare, positioned itself into an alliance led by Capita, which was making money from developing the new Clinical Commissioning groups (CCGs). All this as Lord Hunt of Wirral was voting loyally helping the bill pass into Act.

The list goes on and you can see the full finalists  with the various Lords and MPs listed next to the company involved, here.

So, as people worry about the future of the National Health Service, the Grosvenor Hotel will be full of companies benefitting from a system that allows our MPS and Lords to vote despite a conflict of interest. A bill that had no mandate from any party, in a sector that financially links 142 Lords and multiple MPs (ongoing) to companies involved in private healthcare. No doubt there will be a glass or two raised to the passing of the Health and Social Care bill, and to a very profitable future.


  1. Brilliant piece of research .. it all stinks from the price of the tickets to the 'price' of all those attending. The Health and Social Care bill was a heist, a 'sting operation' creating a cannula from our taxes straight into the pockets of the transnational corporations with no transparency or power to contest.

  2. Corrupt Thieving Bastards! How do they get away with this? The Tories have managed to turn the BBC into a corporate house magazine. BBC and journalism is an oxymoron, so thank you Social Investigations.

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