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Circle does not have a 'sustainable future with Hinchingbrooke'

The Chief Executive of the Circle Partnership, a private company which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon says its future with the NHS hospital is 'unsustainable' and that 'with great regret' it is looking to withdraw from its contract.

"After considerable thought and with great regret we have concluded that Circle’s involvement in Hinchingbrooke does not have a sustainable future in its existing form, and have entered into discussions with the Trust Development Authority with a view to withdrawing from the current contract."

– Steve Melton, Chief Executive of Circle

Circle took over the running of Hinchingbrooke in 2012 making it the only NHS hospital to be run privately in the UK.

The Chief Executive also said that times have changed since they took over the contract.

"Like most hospitals, over the past year we have seen unprecedented A&E attendances – at times up to 30% higher, year-on-year - and not enough care places for healthy patients who await discharge. Second, at the same time, our funding has been cut by approximately 10.1% this year. With these pressures on the system, to maintain the standards our patients deserve requires significant further investment, on top of the £4.84 million and considerable resources Circle have invested in the hospital to date."

– Steve Melton

Breaking News: Private company to pull out of running Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon Credit: ITV News Anglia

The company behind UK's only privately run hospital in Cambridgeshire is to pull out of its contract.

'Circle' has been running Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon since early 2012.

Today the company said that 'with regret we have concluded that Circle's involvement in Hinchingbrooke does not have a sustainable future in its existing form and have entered into discussions with a view to withdrawing from the contract.'


Cambridgeshire wedding planner jailed for fraud

A wedding planner who took money from 19 different couples has been jailed for two years. Lisa Harrison from Earith, Cambridgeshire pleading guilty to offences of fraudulent trading under section nine of the Fraud Act, 2006.

Lisa Harrison Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

The investigation, led by Huntingdonshire’s serious crime team, began with Harrison’s arrest on 18 December 2013 and concluded this week with her sentencing.

Harrison, who suffered with a gambling addiction in 2012, began taking money in the summer of 2013 and used inducements of low currency rates on US dollars and flight upgrades to secure further payments from her victims, to the sum of £80,107.35.

The 34 year-old went on a gambling spree spending £77,933 on online gambling sites including Paddy Power and William Hill, after eventually coming clean to her customers, via email, telling them that she was closing the business due to gambling away all of the money.

This was an extremely distressing case for the 19 couples who lost life savings and had their dream day ruined by Harrison.

I hope the victims received some comfort in the prison sentence imposed on Harrison, meaning they can now start to re-build their lives.

– Detective Sergeant Iain Moor

Shortage of construction materials delays road improvements

Roadworks on the A1(M) have been delays by a shortage of construction materials. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Road improvement work on a three-mile section of the A1(M) in Cambridgeshire to start a week later than scheduled because of a shortage of construction material.

The Highways Agency says the re-surfacing work on the southbound carriageway between Peterborough and Huntingdon will now start on Thursday 11 September.

The work is at Sawtry, between junction 15 and 14, near Glatton Ways and Wheatsheaf flyover, and is due to be completed in a month.

“The current surface is worn and needs replacing to ensure that users of the A1(M) in this part of Cambridgeshire can continue to enjoy safe, smooth and reliable journeys."

– Michael Freeman, Highways Agency project sponsor

Rare Fenland beetle is re-discovered

The rare Tansy beetle has been rediscovered in the Fens Credit: Stephen Falk.

A rare fenland beetle thought to be extinct in the East has been discovered at a nature reserve in Cambridgeshire.

The tansy beetle's been found at Woodwalton Fen National Nature Reserve near Huntingdon. It hasn't been seen since 1973. The site's all that remains of a huge wetland around Whittlesey Mere which was drained in 1851.

Body found in search for boy who went missing in Huntingdon

A body has been found following a search and rescue operation in Huntingdon to find a boy who went missing in the river.

It's thought he had been playing with friends in a field close to Church Lane in Hartford yesterday afternoon.

Cambridgeshire Police have confirmed the body was found in the early hours of this morning just after 02:00am. They say the death is not being treated as suspicious and will be passed onto the coroner.


Girls from St Ivo School crowned national Under 12's champions

Girls from St Ivo School in Huntingdon crowned national Under 12's champions.

Girls from St Ivo School in Huntingdon have just been crowned the national Under 12's champions after winning the final 2-0 at Bisham Abbey.

It's the first time the competition has been run. The youngsters battled through eight rounds to eventually reach the final against Grey Coat Hospital School from West London.

Thieves steal school's go kart

Thieves stole a go kart from a school at Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. They took the kart, which has a Honda 160CC engine and a steel frame with red pads and seat, from The County School, in Mayfield, between 11am on June 18 and 9.15am on Monday (June 23).

Detective Constable Owen Hurley said: "This is quite a distinctive kart and I am certain that someone in the area will know where it is.

Woman dies from injuries following Huntingdon collision

A woman who was seriously injured in a collision with a lorry in Huntingdon has died.

Mary Bastille, 63, of Lucas Court, Huntingdon, was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge following the incident at about 1.15pm on Wednesday (April 30) in St Peters Road, at its junction with Tower Close.

She was described as being in a critical but stable condition, however, her condition deteriorated and she died in the early hours of yesterday (May 6).

Police are investigating and anyone who saw the collision should contact Sgt Chris Clare on 101.

Huntingdon gymnasts take gold on two continents

Louis Smith takes gold in Seoul ahead of rival Kristian Berki (left) Credit: Huntingdon Gymnastics Club

It was a busy Easter weekend for Olympic Gymnasts Louis Smith and Daniel Keatings, with each travelling to different Continents as part of their European and Commonwealth selection campaign.

Triple Olympic medallist Smith travelled to Seoul, South Korea to compete in the prestigious World Cup event, while Keatings made the journey to Brazil as part of a 4 man GB squad in a team event in San Paolo.

Smith receiving his medal in Seoul Credit: Huntingdon Gymnastics Club

Smith, 24, was representing Great Britain for the first time since his London final, and beat arch rival and 2012 champion Kristian Berki of Hungary to te gold medal.

Speaking after the event, Smith said;

“I'm very pleased with my performance today after over 18 months out of international competition. I've now scored some of the highest marks on pommels at 3 consecutive events and it feels good to be able to fight for medals with some of the best in the World.”

Keatings, 23, was also in fine form, helping the GB team to Gold in front of Brazil, as well as finishing second all around and taking gold on both pommel horse and parallel bars.

The Huntingdon gymnasts must now wait for selection announcements for the European Championships to be held in Bulgaria in May, as well as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later in the summer.

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