Lockheed Martin, the US defence giant has bid for a £1bn NHS contract at a recent meeting hosted by NHS England, much to the dismay of doctors and NHS workers.
The contract is likely to be awarded next year and is one of the biggest contracts to be put out to tender by the NHS.
Dr Louise Irvine, a leading London GP described an arms firm being awarded such a major NHS contract as ‘shocking’, and warned that the company could profit from money ‘taken from front line care’.
‘[It is] just as shocking that no NHS organisation was allowed to bid to provide these services, which are mainly back office support for General Practice,’ said the GP who is standing for election in the National Health Action Party. ‘NHS administration systems, with years of experience, are being displaced by organisations that have little or no experiences in providing these services.’
However it was the haunting statement of Dr Mark Porter, chair of the British Medical Association, who said aloud what NHS staff and the public are secretly concerned about, that this is just ‘another worrying example of creeping privatisation in the NHS.’
NHS officials have refused to comment as it is too early in the tender stages of the contract.