Run hospitals and youth services as mutuals says Maude

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said that more NHS hospitals and youth services should be taken out of public hands and owned by the people who run them as mutuals, the Guardian reports. The senior Conservative MP said he was increasingly convinced this was the “way of the future” for a greater proportion of public services. There are around 100 former public-service mutuals, including in community health services. Maude and health minister Norman Lamb have written to all leaders of NHS trusts encouraging them to consider mutualisation.

Spun-out services can subsequently be taken over by private firms, and Maude acknowledged “it is, if one wants to be nitpicky, technically privatisation”.

Meanwhile, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has written to NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens calling for a halt to any further contracts for NHS clinical services being signed for the next year. Burnham, in a speech in Manchester today, will warn against the creeping privatisation in the NHS.