The Department of Health is to launch a fresh PR drive to support
plans to part privatise a section of the NHS.
NHS Estates, which handles property management, international medical
aid and the Government's health management advisory service Capitec, is
It is planned that its executive work will be hived off and run by a
public-private-partnership under the name Inventures.
Department officials are now in the process of creating a shortlist of
around four companies to run Inventures.
A decision is likely by the end of the year but measures are now being
taken to allay fears from groups such as unions and health sector
professionals about private involvement in the health service.
Measures include hiring corporate specialist agency Camargue to assist
the NHS Estates in house team with a communications strategy for its
launch as a PPP.
There will also be extensive liaison and promotional work with unions,
the financial press and the health care media.
Camargue account director Andrew Smith added that another part of the
campaign is to raise the profile of Inventures CEO Kate Priestley, to
give a public face to the initiative.
He said: 'This is a contentious issue and it needs to be carefully
The approach we will be taking is that the challenge in funding the NHS
needs to be met. This scheme will make the health service better by
adding private backing to public management.
'Kate Priestley is very media savvy and a great asset in the campaign to
promote this PPP initiative,' he added.
The Camargue team, headed by director Mike Conway, reports directly to
The policy and regulatory role of NHS Estates will remain within the