The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

NHS Contract Awarded to Health Secretary’s Firm

Matt Hancock
16 April 2021 | Updated 29 June 2021
 

It has been revealed that Health Secretary Matt Hancock and his sibling own shares in document management company Topwood, that has been granted business with NHS Wales this year.

Shredding, scanning and document storage company Topwood, which counts Savills and the National Probation Service among its other clients, supplied the National Health Service with £300,000 worth of services this year. Hancock had declared the shares in the MP’s register of interests in the month prior, without mentioning his sister’s larger stake or director status in the company. A representative for the UK government used the former as evidence that there was not a conflict of interest.

Questions have arisen over the justness in the awarding of this deal, due to the Health Secretary’s family involvement with Topwood since its inception. Hancock was not forthcoming on record about this before being gifted his own shares of over 15 per cent. However, Topwood were chosen for the Shared Business Framework as a potential supplier for local NHS trusts the year after he became Health Secretary.

 

Is There a Conflict of Interest?

 

His role for the UK Government does not give him power in NHS Wales, nor does his Topwood investment grant him management responsibilities. However, the ministerial code states that ministers should declare interests of close family if they believe they might give rise to a conflict.

A government spokesperson said to the BBC: "Mr Hancock has acted entirely properly in these circumstances. All declarations of interest have been made in accordance with the ministerial code. Ministers have no involvement in the awarding of these contracts, and no conflict of interest arises."

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour's shadow health secretary, was reportedly "shocked" that a company linked to Matt Hancock had been listed as a potential supplier and used for the NHS. Despite that, "sadly [he] suspects no one is surprised any more at the cronyism at the heart of this government." The Conservatives have come under scrutiny during the pandemic for several contracts, such as the short-term consultants working for Deloitte under the Test and Trace scheme. The Health Secretary has not yet commented publically on the latest matter.

Picture: Matt Hancock, Health Secretary.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 16 April 2021

Share



Related Articles

Every Mind Matters

As many readers will be aware there is a new focus on mental health in the air with celebrities promoting the idea that it is 'time to talk'. PHE and the NHS have...

 Read Full Article
Ventilation Issues Lead To Deaths, Closures and Public Inquiries

The Scottish Government has confirmed that a public inquiry will be held to examine health and building issues at two hospitals. Meanwhile, 'higher than normal'...

 Read Full Article
Noel's Multi-national Swap Shop

It was announced yesterday in Boston that IronMountain, a storage and information management firm, had signed a definitive agreement to divest its international shredding...

 Read Full Article
Sodexo Launches Infection Prevention Programme for Hospitals

With an aim to reducing preventable infections in hospital settings, Sodexo is launching Protecta, an evidence-based infection prevention...

 Read Full Article
Managing Healthcare Facilities – Net-Zero Hospitals

The carbon footprint of healthcare could triple by 2050, leading to worse health outcomes, increased chances of pandemics and a more unstable climate.  Healthcare...

 Read Full Article
NHS Test & Trace Programme Extends Contract With Sodexo 

Sodexo's contract for the NHS Test & Trace programme has been extended to include a further 121 fixed and mobile COVID-19 testing centres. This...

 Read Full Article
Compass Group Uses Cleaning Robots to Support NHS

Medirest, the healthcare division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, is introducing 12 brand new cleaning robots to support several NHS hospitals across the...

 Read Full Article
Mitie Launches Low Carbon Menu for NHS Hospitals

Mitie and apetito are collaborating to cut carbon from the menu at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This is Mitie's first low...

 Read Full Article
Armed Forces Week – From the Forces to FM

Armed Forces Week takes place 22-26 June 2021, a time to recognise the strengths and skills of our Forces personnel. Barry Loftus, ISS UK HSEQ Business Partner,...

 Read Full Article
Imtech Inviron Wins NHS Estates Management Deal  

Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust has appointed Imtech Inviron to deliver estates management services across 60 of their...

 Read Full Article