Nov 11 2011

Welcome to the National Heist Service (NHS): UK hospital now run from Jersey and BVI

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Modified from Tax Research:

As the Guardian reports this morning:

A private company, listed on the stock market, has been given the right to deliver a full range of hospital services for the first time in the history of the NHS, reigniting a debate about the use of business in the health sector.

Circle Healthcare, a John Lewis-style partnership valued at around £120m, will manage the debt-laden Hinchingbrooke hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, from February after the government signed off on a decade-long contract on Wednesday.

But as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported in May:

[Circle’s] accounts reveal a structure of fiendish complexity, with 49.9% of Circle’s shares held in the British Virgin Islands, and the remaining 50.1% in Jersey, although Circle says the Jersey arm “has recently been re-domiciled as a UK tax resident company”. The Jersey company’s accounts include six pages of related-party transactions.

It gets even more complex when you realise the Foster-designed hospital in Bath, which Cavendish so praised, is leased from Health Properties (Bath), a company on whose board Lehman Brothers have 50 per cent representation. That’s the same Lehman Brothers that went into administration in 2008. Health Properties (Bath), the hospital’s landlord, is also part-owned by the Jersey arm of Circle and by Health Estates Fund.

“The investors in this fund are un-connected wealthy individuals who have chosen to invest their money in the fabric of UK hospitals,” says Circle.

UK tax resident does not mean UK incorporated, by the way. . .  Welcome to the National Heist Service, sponsored by Andrew Lansley: taking health care from the many for the benefit of the few.

More on this from Tax Research here.

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