Image: The PokeImage: The Poke

This month the only private company to run an entire NHS hospital threw a tantrum and stormed off. Circle Health pulled out of its 10-year contract to manage Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridgeshire after just two years, leaving the hospital’s survival in doubt. A Guardian editorial said our first concern should be with the patients, for whom “uncertainty allied with ill health is a terrible combination.”

I disagree. The real victims are not the patients. The real victims – the ones we must all pull together to support – are the journalists, commentators and even politicians who hailed Circle as a “miracle cure” for the NHS, and have cruelly been made to look like fools.

Circle, to all appearances a PR company that also runs hospitals, took over Hinchingbrooke in 2012. It immediately began grooming innocent and credulous journalists to do its bidding. Some were even trafficked to Cambridgeshire…

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