False Economy ran from 2010-2015. This site is no longer being updated, but the False Economy research team continue to report at Sentinel News.
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Fishiest outsourcing firms

Care UK

Care UK

Care UK runs 85 residential homes and provides care for more than 17,000 people across the UK. It was the first private company to run a GP surgery, and is now the largest operator of NHS independent sector treatment centres. Care UK runs GP practices, NHS walk-in centres and out-of-hours services, and is bidding to take over management of the NHS George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

In 2010 Care UK was bought by private equity firm Bridgepoint, whose advisors include former Conservative Party and current BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten, and former Labour health secretary Alan Milburn. Bridgepoint's complex restructuring left the company mired in debt and high interest rates but shrunk its tax bill by taking out loans through the Channel Islands. Ownership and management were split, in an arrangement resembling that of failed care home operator Southern Cross.

In July 2012, Care UK invited health campaigner Alex Nunns to apply to become a "Media Relations Executive" with the company. His brilliant, acerbic reply became a viral hit, receiving 73,000 views in one day. He wrote: "If there’s just one thing that Care UK knows how to do – and there is – it’s take money from the state. I would make a bigger deal of the fact that 96 per cent of Care UK’s revenue comes from the NHS. That’s the kind of solid base that any company would envy – taxpayers’ money, minimal risk, easy profits."

Care UK is nominated for:
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