The Tory candidate for Bolsover was chief spinner for a private health firm with offshore owners that is taking NHS contracts.
Former House of Lords staffer Mark Fletcher was director of communications for Synergix Health, a private health firm part-owned by Carani Holdings, a secretive business based in the British Virgin Islands. The firm pays up to £130,000 a year to senior staff.
The business’s biggest brand is Doctor Care Anywhere, a so-called ‘telemedicine service’ that replaces face-to-face GP appointments with video call consultations.
Despite an inspection finding that Doctor Care Anywhere “was not providing safe care”, the service has secured at least one NHS contract in Plymouth.
The Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth has criticised similar services, saying “I certainly wouldn’t be pushing an untested private health app like this new health secretary is doing. It is so irresponsible. Because we know privatisation puts patient care at risk.”
Bolsover is being defended by veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner in his fourteenth general election in the seat. He won the last election with a majority of just 5,288 with the Tories in second place.