Did you know that Barts. Hospital Trust are using taxpayers’ money to fund an American private company for consultation on “quality Improvement” ? With talk of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit opening up the possibility of trade deals with the US including the NHS and with record numbers of outsourced contracts with private companies on the previous Government’s watch we need to be very wary.
Earlier this year in response to a question from Newham save Our NHS regarding the deal struck up with IHI ( International Health Improvement) we were told that a 3 year contract ( with the possibility of renewal for a further two years ) would cost Barts ( which already has a massive deficit ) £1.6m. Earlier, in December of 2018 Tony Halton, Managing Director of Newham Hospital, had tweeted “Brilliant to have IHI join us at Newham Hospital this morning as we step up our Quality improvement journey”.
The 3 year contract entitled “Quality Improvement partner ” is between Barts Trust, the East London Foundation Trust and IHI. This was awarded to IHI despite the existence of substantial resources and experience within the NHS itself. This was a very shady deal. We repeatedly asked for the cost of the deal. On 7th. November 2018 we tabled a question to which we eventually got the verbal response ” we will tell you later” At the January 2019 Board meeting ( the Board now only meets once every two months) the written response was that we would be told “in due course” and that “details of contracts were commercial in confidence”.
On 23rd January we repeated our request for the costs of the contract to be revealed. Thankfully, Barts decided in the end to accede to our request and detailed the terms of the contract, though in rather vague terms. Apparently, IHI offered Barts Trust a “WeImprove Hub” which involved a two day visit by IHI followed by a Barts Trust seminar. This was what Tony Halton had tweeted about in glowing terms.Later on IHI will provide “coaching” and will work “virtually” with Barts to improve ‘Quality performance’. One wonders what could be so “brilliant” about a private company offering advice based in a country which doesn’t even provide healthcare for its own citizens except in return for Healthcare Insurance at exorbitant rates for profit.

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