Capsticks and Wragges secure NHS hospital deal

Capsticks and Wragge & Co both scored roles advising on the first takeover of an NHS hospital by a ­private company.

Wragges advised NHS Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority (SHA), and Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust on a 10-year agreement that will see Hinchingbrooke Hospital run by social enterprise ­Circle, Europe’s largest healthcare partnership.

After two years of ­planning and negotiation, a 13-month procurement process and approval from the Department of Health, ­contracts were signed on 10 November for a franchise model between Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Circle in Huntingdonshire.

From February 2012 ­Circle will take over the management of Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Capsticks advised Circle, which was chosen from an initial pool of 11 bidders, a number that also included NHS bodies.

Commercial partner Sharon Lamb led on the deal for Capsticks, assisted by employment partner John Brookes and corporate partner Justin Alford.

Healthcare partner ­Bleddyn Rees led the Wragges team advising the SHA and Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust on the project.

Public law and regulatory partner John Cooper and antitrust partner Simon Taylor also acted on the deal.

“This is a momentous day for the NHS and Hinchingbrooke Hospital,” said Rees. “The SHA needed a long-term solution to secure the hospital’s future and with this highly complex NHS first that’s exactly what we’ve delivered.”