The private company that has been running urgent treatment centres (UTCs) at Ealing Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital has had its contract terminated and services are to be handed over to local NHS trust, London North West University Healthcare.
According tp HSJ, the provider, Greenbrook Healthcare, was told of the decision last week by North West London ICS and that London North West University Healthcare Trust would be running the UTCs in Ealing and its other hospital at Northwick Park in Harrow.
Greenbrook had been running UTCs in Ealing since 2016 when it won its first contract.
As well as the Ealing borough hospitals, Greenbrook provided UTC services to Hillingdon Hospitals.
In a joint statement from North West London ICS and Greenbrook Healthcare owner Totally plc to Health Service Journal (HSJ),on 24 January 2023 they said: “As Greenbrook Healthcare approaches the end of its contracts with commissioners to provide urgent care services via UTCs at Ealing, Northwick Park, Central Middlesex and Hillingdon hospitals, and whilst we agree handover plans to the local NHS trusts, the delivery of excellent patient care remains our joint priority.”
The following day, in its own statement on 25 January 2023, Totally plc said: “For legal reasons, Greenbrook Healthcare Limited the Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary and part of Totally’s Urgent Care Division, has today terminated its contracts for the provision of urgent treatment centres (“UTCs”) at Northwick Park Hospital, Central Middlesex Hospital, Ealing Hospital and Hillingdon Hospital (the “Contracts”). The Contracts were due to expire on 31 January 2023.”
It further added: “The services were inspected by the CQC in August 2022 and rated as GOOD overall. Greenbrook has previously submitted a tender to deliver services at the four UTCs from 31 January 2023 onwards and continues to await the result of that procurement process. The Company is committed to this ongoing process and any future procurement process.”
Eve Turner from campaign group Ealing Save Our NHS welcomed the decision. She said: “The Urgent Treatment Centre is vital to the functioning of Ealing Hospital and has to work in tandem with the adjacent A & E but having the Urgent Treatment Centre run by a different organisation means that work is often unnecessarily duplicated and tests repeated.”
Ms Turner added: “In our view profit making companies are a drain on the NHS because treatment is often not holistic. Overworked and underpaid NHS staff are given the riskier and more complicated work, so that private companies can cherry pick easier treatments. These companies don’t have to pay for the years of training, instead recruiting from the NHS, so they do drain vital resources in several ways. The Urgent Treatment Centres coming back is great news.”