Former Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly lobbied NHSX chief Matthew Gould for entry to NHS workers information to help the rollout of a cost app, it has been revealed.
Cameron was employed as a lobbyist for Australian agency Greensill Capital, which developed an advance cost app for medical doctors and nurses within the NHS. The app, referred to as Earnd, later went on to safe a partnership which noticed it rolled out freed from cost to all NHS organisations.
Emails seen by The Times reveal Cameron had written to Gould inside weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic hitting to pitch “one of many companies I now work with”.
He informed Gould the Earnd app “addresses one among your key priorities: serving to all NHS workers’ welfare, morale and wellbeing”.
“Our ask is about digital workers information, as Earnd will probably be a lot slicker if it could get hold of entry to worker information … I believe some assist from you’ll go a good distance. Individually, they’re searching for to achieve entry to belief information held by the dominant rostering system, Allocate,” he wrote to Gould in April 2020.
Cameron pressured using Earnd was vital in serving to help NHS workers within the face of the pandemic.
Gould replied to Cameron inside hours to say he would “definitely look into the digital workers information query”. The emails have been revealed in full by The Times.
By October 2020, NHS Shared Enterprise Companies (NHS SBS), which supplies payroll companies to the NHS, announced it was rolling out Earnd to all NHS organisations freed from cost.
On the time, NHS SBS stated the collaboration was about “offering the NHS with quick access to digital applied sciences, which enhance the lives of essential healthcare employees throughout the nation, and save extra money and time for affected person care”.
A spokesperson for NHSX stated: “NHSX is supportive of know-how that may enhance worker wellbeing and make it simpler for nurses, medical doctors and different NHS workers to do their jobs, and when companies are procured that is all the time performed transparently and following the suitable processes.
“Greensill was one among many ‘fintech’ corporations which approached NHSX to debate their merchandise as a part of our ‘innovation surgical procedure’ however we didn’t enter in to any contract or partnership with them.”
Gould didn’t meet or focus on merchandise with Greensill or Earnd, NHSX confirmed.
Greensill’s choice to supply the Earnd app without spending a dime meant it sidestepped the standard procurement guidelines in place, together with the requirement to participate in open competitors.
Often, if a start-up is trying to work with or entry the NHS they would want to participate in open competitors in opposition to different start-ups and suppliers. There are situations the place open competitors is just not required however that often applies to suppliers who’ve been appointed to an accredited buying framework.
There are a number of NHS-affiliated entities that present payroll companies and workers information is held throughout a number of organisations and authorities companies, which makes it laborious to entry the total set of information.
That’s the place Cameron’s lobbying of Gould is available in. Following Cameron’s preliminary e-mail, Gould handed his request on to a colleague who pursued it additional with NHS Digital Workers Information, which is run by NHS SBS.
Greensill additionally pursued NHS SBS on behalf of Earnd. NHS SBS is a semi-private physique – a three way partnership firm between the Division of Well being and Social Care and French IT companies firm Sopra Steria – which meant Earnd wasn’t required to stick to standard public procurement guidelines.
Earnd was made accessible in October 2020 although the MySBSPay app, which was offered by NHS SBS. A spokesperson for NHS SBS confirmed to Digital Well being Information that whereas the app was accessible by MySBSPay the contract all the time remained between Earnd and particular person NHS trusts.
The primary organisation to make Earnd accessible to its workforce through MySBSPay was the Royal Free London NHS Basis Belief, which has greater than 10,000 workers.
Earnd reportedly pledged to pay NHS SBS a whole lot of hundreds of kilos for each 10,000 workers members who enlisted on the app. A spokesperson for NHS SBS stated the entity had not acquired any cost from Earnd.
They confirmed three trusts had made Earnd accessible to their workers through the MySBSPay app however solely about 450 workers selected to make use of it. Separate from the partnership with NHS SBS, Earnd additionally offered its service on to small variety of trusts [less than 10]. It’s not recognized what number of trusts agreed to ship workers information to Earnd.
Greensill and Earnd each went bust in March 2020. Greensill is being wound up by directors whereas Earnd has been purchased by a competitor.
A number of inquiries are underway into the Greensill lobbying scandal after it was revealed Cameron had lobbied a number of MPs and excessive profile NHS leaders, together with a personal drink with the well being secretary Matt Hancock.