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Private health lobby advised on NHS hospital reconfiguration review

The authors of a major report on changes to NHS hospitals failed to declare that a lobbying network for the private healthcare industry was on its advisory panel, new documents suggest.

The Dalton review, a government-commissioned report which last year concluded that private companies could oversee management of NHS hospitals, was advised by a panel of experts that included Jim Easton, the managing director of private health firm Care UK.

The report claimed panel members were advising “in a personal capacity, rather than as representatives of their organisations”. But documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal Easton was in fact representing the NHS Partners Network, the UK’s primary lobbying group for the private healthcare sector.

When asked about his role, Easton, a senior civil servant at the Department of Health until 2012, denied that he had breached rules preventing him from lobbying the government for two years.

Read more in The Guardian.

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