Tories in £1.5 billion NHS sell-off scandal

Tories in £1.5 billion NHS sell-off scandal

04 October 2014

A new investigation by Unite has found that since 2012 a scandalous £1.5 billion has left the NHS and gone into the pockets of just 15 private companies linked to 24 Tory MPs and Lords who voted for the Health and Social Care Act (see notes to editors).

Many of these MPs and Lords have benefited from the combination of their links to private healthcare and the sell-off of the NHS.

The 24 Tory MPs and Lords, include, The Prime Minister David Cameron, Andrew Lansley, Jo, Johnson, William Hague and Nadhim Zahawi, Nick Herbert, David Ruffley, Chris Skidmore, Mark Simmonds, Nicholas Soames, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Kwasi Kwarteng.

Lord Blackwell, Baron Higgins of Worthing, Baroness Cumberledge, Baroness Wheatcroft, Baroness Bottomley, Lord Freeman, Lord Popat, Lord Patten, Lord Glendonbrook, Lord Hunt  and Baroness James of Holland Park.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This is a national scandal and the Tories must be held to account. The government had no mandate to sell-off our NHS but they did just that. You have to ask yourself why?

“Since the vote to sell-off our NHS £12 billion pounds of our services are now in private hands. Key clinical services including cancer care, blood analysis and mental health have been sold off or are up for sale. It is time to scrap the Health and Social Care Act and save our NHS.

“David Cameron promised there would be no top-down reorganisation of the NHS, but he lied. How can we be in a situation where dozens of his MPs, voted for the sell off and had links to private healthcare companies, knowing this would open up new opportunities for the companies that pay them.

“It’s no wonder that calls to protect the NHS from TTIP, a EU-US trade deal that threatens to make the sell-off of the NHS permanent, are being ignored by the Tories.

“The next election will be make or break for our NHS. It is clear what Cameron’s preferred path is – an American style health system.”


For further information contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

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Notes to editors

The £1.5 billion is only a proportion of the total value that continues to rise as a result of the Health and Social Care Act. Millions of pounds gained by private companies from NHS contracts with links to Tories are still to be unearthed.

The 15 private companies that have secured revenue from NHS contracts and the links to Tory Lords and MPs;



Value of NHS Contracts

Link to Tory MP or Lord

Advantage Healthcare (Interserve)

£418,729 thousand

Lord Blackwell


£235 million

Baroness Bottomley

Beachcroft consortium

£20 million

Lord Hunt of Wirral

BMI Healthcare (London & Regional)

£24 million

David Cameron

Care UK - The majority of Care UK‘s revenue is attributable to publicly funded entities such as Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and other NHS bodies.

£659.6 million

Andrew Lansley, Nick Herbert, David Ruffley, Chris Skidmore


£121 million

Mark Simmonds, Baron Higgins of Worthing, Nicholas Soames, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Kwasi Kwarteng, Jo Johnson


£20,000 thousand

Baroness Cumberledge

DLA Piper

£2.639 million

Baroness Wheatcroft


£200,000 thousand

Baroness Bottomley

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

£3.4 million

Lord Freemen

TLC Group

£4.43 million

Lord Popat

The Practice (MMC Ventures)

£636,275 thousand

William Hague


£5 million

Lord Patten


£432 million

Lord Glendonbrook & Baroness James of Holland Park


£2.6 million

Nadhim Zahawi

Selection of companies attached to Tory parliamentarians and money made thanks to the Health and Social Care Act.


Circle which were the first private company to take over the running of an NHS hospital have also recently been awarded a contract by Bedfordshire CCG as the prime contractor for musculoskeletal services worth £120 million over 5 years.

Circle investors are also donors of the Conservative Party and have given money to MPs offices. One of those investors, Robin Odey of Odey Asset Management has donated to the offices of Nicholas Soames, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Kwasi Kwarteng who used to work for Odey Management as an analyst, and Jo Johnson, head of the number 10 policy unit. All voted for the bill.

Conservative peer Baron Higgins of Worthing holds shares in Lansdowne UK Equity Fund, another investor in Circle. Voted for the bill.

Care UK

The majority of Care UK‘s revenue is attributable to publicly funded entities such as Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and other NHS bodies. In their 2013 annual report for bondholders, the Care UK group received £659.6 million in revenue for the year. Part of this sum included the purchase of Out of Hours company, Harmoni, John Nash was the Chairman of Care UK.

MP: Former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley who co-wrote the health and social care bill received £21,000 to run his office from Caroline Nash the wife of John Nash when he was shadow health secretary. John Nash was chairman of Care UK at the time. Voted on the legislation with the government.

MP: Nick Herbert received donations from Caroline Nash. The donations were £15,000 in 2008 and in 2009. Voted on the Health and Social Care bill legislation with government.

MP: David Ruffley also received a £10,000 donation from Caroline Nash in 2009 - Now Care UK have won contracts in his constituency. Voted on the Health and Social Care bill legislation with the government.

MP: Chris Skidmore who in June 2010 attended a “Should we abolish the NHS?” event hosted by the free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs received £5,000 to his office in run up to the election in 2010 from Caroline Nash. Voted on the Health and Social Care Bill with government.

Lord Popat’swife Sandhya Popat is the sole owner of a nursing care home company that has given the Conservative party over £200,000. Lord Popat has given £284,707 in donations to the Conservative party, with one donation of £25,000 given one week after the Tory health reforms were unveiled.

Lord Popat was the owner listed until 2013 and his interest as Chairman was deleted after he was made a Lord in June 2011. David Cameron made Dolar Popat a Lord shortly after entering No 10 in July 2010. A freedom if information request has revealed how The Popat family company, TLC Group has made £4.43 million via the new commissioning groups that were created following the Health and Social Care Act. Despite this clear conflict of interest, Lord Popat was allowed to vote on the Health and Social Care bill helping it to become an Act.

Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi is a non-executive director of Sthree which has received at least £2.6 million from the changes to the NHS by providing staff to the new Commissioners of the NHS.

Former Health Secretary Baroness Bottomley is a Director of International Resources Group Ltd, which is 100% owned by Odgers (Group) Ltd. Bottomley acts as chair for the Odgers Berndtson Board & CEO Practice. The practice conducts searches for ‘high level’ Chairmen, CEOs and non-executive directors for plcs and private companies. Richard Boggis-Rolfe the chairman of Odgers Berndtson has given £207,500 in donations to the Conservative party up until the election. They have been responsible for filling key positions in the new NHS regulator Monitor. In total 12 senior personnel have been sourced and vetted by Odgers at a cost of nearly £200,000. Baroness Bottomley voted on the Health bill and when speaking at a Health bill reading said 'I give this Bill an unequivocal and extraordinarily warm welcome.'  

Baroness Cumberlegeowns a training company that prior to the health bill being passed, moved into an alliance that was vying for contracts to develop the new CCGs. Her company then went on to gain several contracts doing just that. Ms Bottomley also voted on the Health bill, helping it become an Act. She secured £1,200 +VAT for a one-day course for Horsham and Mid-Sussex and Hastings and Rother CCGs. Her company was paid £12,896 from NHS South-Eastern Hampshire and NHS Fareham and Gosport CCGs via a bursary from NHS South-Central SHA for one-day course on 'Understanding Politics Masterclass.'

David Cameron’s leadership campaign and the Conservative party General Healthcare Group (GHG) is owned by a consortium led by Network Healthcare Holdings (Netcare), the largest private healthcare organisation in South Africa, which gained international notoriety in 2010 after admitting involvement in organ trafficking. The private equity firm Apax Partners has a 32% minority stake; the secretive Livingstone brothers’ property company London and Regional owns around 7.5%. GHG operates under two brands, one of them is BMI Healthcare, the UK’s largest chain of private hospitals.

Adrian Beecroftis a director of Apax Partners, he joined in 1984, and for many years was its Chief Investment Officer. He has donated over £500,000 to the Conservative Party since 2006.

London and Regional donated £10,000 to David Cameron’s leadership campaign in 2005. They have donated £76,930 to the Conservative Party, £50,000 in 2010 before the H&SCA and £26,930 on 21 August 2012 after the H&SCA had passed.

William Haguereceived donations from Bruce Ferguson MacFarlane, founding director of MMC Ventures, which part-owns The Practice Plc.

He has donated £20,000 to William Hague – in four amounts on 06/02/2006, 23/05/2008, and 23/02/2009 and Alan William Morgan, founding director of MMC Ventures, donated £5000 to William Hague on 23/05/2008.

NHS link: The Practice Plc runs 60 GP surgeries and further clinical assessment and treatment services (CATS) across the NHS.

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey