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NHS England threatened legal action against Oxford University hospitals trust

Published on 04/04/19 at 10:50am

NHS England threatened to sue Oxford University hospitals (OUH) NHS trust after they objected to the former’s controversial decision to allow a private company to take control of cancer scanning.

DAC Beachcroft, NHS England’s lawyers, issued a warning against OUH in saying the trust’s concerns amounted to defamation.

As reported by The Guardian the relationship between NHS England and OUH became strained after NHS England chose to hand the contract for PET-CT scanning services to private company InHealth.

The threat came after OUH argued NHS England would be putting “patient safety at risk” as they “severely compromised the provision of cancer care and research in the health system, in both the short and long term.”

DAC Beachcroft responded to the criticism in a letter to OUH, saying: “NHS England does not accept that the result of this procurement puts patient safety at risk or compromises the provision of cancer care and research in the health system. We are bound to put you on notice that any statement in those or similar terms would be defamatory if repeated to any third party.”

Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds condemned NHS England: “I am appalled that NHS England sought to prevent clinicians from offering an informed opinion about privatising Oxford’s PET-CT scan service.”

Louis Goss

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