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Damaging impact of privatisation as consultants quit & service axed

Statement from Dr Clive Peedell, co-leader of the National Health Action Party and consultant clinical oncologist, on news that one of the biggest teaching trusts in England has been forced to axe its renowned acute dermatology service following an “exodus” of medical consultants after the transfer of their contract to private provider Circle
"This is a prime example of the potential pitfalls of outsourcing specialised services to the private sector and clearly highlights the lack of expertise within CCGs to plan specialised services for their patient populations. We now have a shocking situation where an entire region is at risk of losing acute adult dermatology services. This will have serious knock-on effects for other departments like General medicine, which work closely with dermatology to co-manage a variety of medical conditions that manifest with complex skin complaints. Cancer services could also be affected because dermatologists play a key role in the management of skin cancers like melanoma.
"It is particularly worrying that members of Rushcliffe CCG who made this decision were clearly warned of the potential consequences. A thorough and urgent investigation into their decision-making processes is required.
"The entire issue of outsourcing and privatisation of NHS services needs urgent review. The multidisciplinary nature of healthcare means that the knock-on effects of outsourcing can destabilise other clinical services and entire local health economies. Another high profile example is the outsourcing of a £235 million musculoskeletal services contract to the private sector in Sussex, which could have serious repercussions for local orthopaedic services at Western Sussex Hospitals Foundation Trust."*

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