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Fishiest outsourcing firms



Circle Partnership was created in 2004 by merchant banker Ali Parsa and Massoud Fouladi to exploit the newly created market in NHS care. In November 2011 it become the first private company to run an NHS hospital, Cambridgeshire's Hinchingbrooke Healthcare Trust. 

Circle describes itself as a “social enterprise”, but since it is mostly owned by private equity companies that aim to make a profit, that stretches the term beyond credibility. Circle also claims to be a "mutual", but unlike mutuals such as John Lewis, most staff cannot stand for and be elected to the board. Circle's private hospitals belong to a separate company owned by Ali Parsa, so even if the “mutual” aspect were true, the employees would own no assets.

Circle has never made a profit. Its Nottingham NHS treatment centre generates a surplus, but this is swallowed up by the huge losses at its private hospital in Bath. Indeed, it appears that Circle is using surpluses on its NHS work to subsidise its private patients (see pdf, p12). 

The company uses offshore tax havens like the British Virgin Islands and Jersey to avoid paying tax. In June 2012 Circle admitted that its finances were in such a poor state that it asked for a £47m bailout from shareholders, warning that otherwise the company would be insolvent

Circle is nominated for:
78 votes
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