EASINGTON MP Grahame Morris was due to speak in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon to call for ensured transparency on the workings of private companies in the NHS.
The Labour MP, who is a member of the Health Select Committee, was due to present a 10 Minute Rule Bill to Parliament at 12.30pm called Freedom of Information (FoI) (Private Healthcare Companies).
He wants to make sure private companies can’t “hide behind the cloak of commercial confidentiality, as billions of pounds in taxpayers’ money is awarded to them in barely transparent contracts”.
The document asks Parliament to grant leave to change current legislation to “bring in a Bill to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to apply to private healthcare companies; and for connected purposes”.
The bill aims to make sure private companies in the NHS and those bidding for NHS contracts are subject to the same requirements as public bodies involved in health service.
Mr Morris says this ensures a level playing field when private companies bid for contracts in the NHS, to ensure transparency is paramount during and after the bidding process and to do all we can to protect patients from “unscrupulous private healthcare companies”, and to “follow the public pound” so the public are reassured it is being spent effectively and ethically.
He said: “Unfortunately, while more and more taxpayers’ money is being handed to the private sector, the responsibilities in relation to FoI are not allowing us to following the public pound.
“Instead, private companies hide behind the cloak of commercial confidentiality, as billions of pounds in taxpayers’ money is awarded to them in barely transparent contracts.”