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25 November 2010, 16:28 | Updated: 25 November 2010, 16:44
We now know which company is going to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
"Circle" will become the first private firm in the country to run a hospital on behalf of the NHS.
It's taken more than two years for the NHS to select a partner in this process.
As long as regulators agree with the decision, Circle will take over the running of the hospital from June 2011.
After this time, more details about how the company plans to run the hospital will be made public.
Dr Stephen Dunn, Director of Strategy at NHS East of England, said: "Hinchingbrooke has major debts and might have had to close, or receive a large subsidy paid for by the taxpayer.
Thanks to this process this is not the case.
We have selected a cutting edge partner with an innovative approach.
This is not privatisation.
Staff and assets will be protected, and the taxpayer will not be forced into bailing out Hinchingbrooke.
This has to be a model for hospitals that face similar challenges nationally."
Ali Parsa, Circle’s Managing Partner, said: "Circle’s co-operative model offers a Big Society solution for Hinchingbrooke - liberating doctors and nurses to deliver the best services for the patients they know best.
This is a great opportunity for a social enterprise and local clinicians to come together to lead the next chapter in the long and successful history of the NHS.
Through this unique partnership, we will continue to provide high-quality NHS services that are free at the point of use for the people of Huntingdon.
We’d like to thank the Strategic Health Authority and Department of Health for their willingness to think outside the box to secure the highest quality services for patients in Huntingdon."