Former UK prime minister David Cameron lobbied the NHS for entry to employees’s private knowledge, weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cameron was appearing on behalf of economic providers agency Greensill Capital, which he had monetary curiosity in. His work for the agency, which filed for administration in March 2021, has led to elevated scrutiny of personal firms’ lobbying.
Greensill had acquired two startups – the Australian app Earnd and UK supplier FreeUp, each of which supply earned wage entry (EWA) providers, permitting customers to obtain advance wage funds.
In an e mail dated March 2020, revealed by The Sunday Occasions [behind paywall], Cameron requested NHSX CEO Matthew Gould for entry to digital employees data (ESR) to assist Greensill roll out the Earnd app to the NHS.
He wrote that Earnd would “be a lot slicker if it could receive entry to worker knowledge in ESR.”
Cameron has since defended his actions in a press release, saying: “It was a time of nationwide disaster with fears about companies’ entry to credit score. Greensill Capital needed to supply a real and legit proposal to assist with this.”
Previous to the e-mail, Cameron had additionally mentioned the Earnd scheme over a drink with well being secretary Matt Hancock and by way of textual content messages with chancellor Rishi Sunak.
In October 2020, Earnd introduced a partnership with NHS Shared Enterprise Providers (NHS SBS) permitting NHS staff entry to their earned earnings earlier than payday by way of the present MYSBSPay app. As a result of the service was provided free of charge it sidestepped the same old open competitors course of.
NHS Enterprise Providers Authority ESR arrange API technical integration functionality to permit trusts and Earnd to validate particular worker knowledge offered by people.
The Royal Free London NHS Basis, Wye Valley NHS Belief and George Eliot Hospital NHS Belief, have been amongst people who signed up, however it seems few staff used the service. A spokesperson for the Royal Free instructed Healthcare It Information that fewer than 700 of its employees used Earnd.
WHY IT MATTERS
Cameron gave Greensill entry to individuals on the prime of the Division of Well being and Social Care and the NHS. A authorities overview and three separate MP-led inquiries at the moment are wanting into his lobbying makes an attempt.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
In the meantime, Earnd’s Australian department was acquired by UK finance agency Wagestream final week for a personal quantity. Wagestream affords a EWA service to seven NHS trusts, as a part of a wellbeing programme together with monetary training, teaching, financial savings instruments and wages visibility.
Different EWA providers being utilized by the NHS embody Wage Finance and Hastee.
ON THE RECORD
An NHSE spokesperson stated: “The NHS has an obligation to assist employees whereas utilizing taxpayers’ cash correctly and so officers do meet organisations who might be able to present good worth providers that are efficient, and when concepts are taken ahead, contracts are put via the suitable and clear tendering processes. The proposals weren’t taken ahead on this case.”
Healthcare IT Information is a HIMSS Media publication.