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 19 April 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
NHS Deep Cleaning Service Supports Sue Ryder Hospices

The new NHS Deep Cleaning and Advisory Service is enforcing a new national standard for domestic cleaning. Sue Ryder is amongst the first healthcare providers in...

 Read Full Article
Public Health to be Transformed With Formation of Two New Bodies

The Health Estates and Facilities Management Association is encouraging feedback on a recent proposal to overhaul England’s public health with the formation of two...

 Read Full Article
Imtech Inviron Secures Two NHS Contracts

Imtech Inviron has secured two NHS contracts in Hertfordshire, with a combined base value in excess of £18m. The agreements are to maintain 75 properties on...

 Read Full Article
Mitie Refutes Claims of Lack of Cooperation Amid Strike Action in Carlisle 

As over 70 cleaners, porters and other support staff at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary prepare to strike over a decade-long pay dispute, Mitie says it has never...

 Read Full Article
Mitie Appointed as Supplier for Net Zero Carbon Delivery Framework

Mitie has been appointed as a preferred supplier on the new Net Zero Carbon Delivery framework, created by ETL. ETL is the estate development consultancy founded by...

 Read Full Article
BICSc Launches NHS Compliant Cleaning Skills

The British Institute of Cleaning Science has announced the imminent launch of a selection of NHS compliant cleaning skills, which have been adapted from the...

 Read Full Article
Actions of Sodexo Porters Provide Critical Help Following Fall

Two Sodexo porters at the Royal Stoke University Hospital provided critical help following the fall of a patient. On 16 November 2020, porter William Nock heard a...

 Read Full Article