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Uniting Care National Audit Office investigation – Cambridge MP Speaks Out

Daniel Zeichner MP has welcomed the report of the National Audit Office investigation into the collapse of the Uniting Care Contract. 

Mr Zeichner, who has long campaigned on this issue, and held an adjournment debate on the topic in January 2016, had called for the independent organisation to conduct a full review.

The debacle saw the biggest tendering process in NHS history collapse after just eight months.

Mr Zeichner said: “The NAO report makes clear the focus of managers was on contracts, cash and customers not patients. 

In trying to follow the confusing and complicated contracting rules, caused by the controversial 2012 Conservative / Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care Act additional critical problems were caused. This included the costly issue of who would pay VAT. 

The report makes clear that there were "important gaps in the specialist procurement advice". 

£292,000 was spent by the Strategic Projects team, the secretive NHS privatisation advocates while £280,000 was blown on legal advice from Deloitte and Gowling. 

The people of Cambridgeshire deserve a refund. This was a catalogue of confusion, with highly-paid advisers making basic errors and wasting taxpayers money.  It is high time ministers apologised for this hugely expensive failure, agreed to learn the lessons that confusing contracting does not work, and to put patients first."

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