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In line with the buying up of other NHS hospitals by private firms, a groundbreaking deal has been announced for a US manufacturer of bubblewrap to take over the running of Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire.

The move comes after the coalition government passed the NHS reform bill which is already resulting in the selling off of NHS hospitals to the private sector.

A spokesperson for the private US firm explained that the company was looking to bring its extensive experience of treatment of mental problems in the bubblewrap market to Broadmoor’s patients:

Our bubblewrap is of the highest quality and we’re confident that integrating it into Broadmoor’s existing treatments will prove to be of great benefit to both patients and staff alike. As well as making us squillions in cash.

Although the deal will see the US company assume the financial risks of making the hospital more efficient and paying off its £40m of debts, the company is expected to make substantial profits from sales once it has integrated bubblewrap popping into Broadmoor’s existing treatment programmes.

Private sector firms in fact already operate units that treat NHS patients – such as hip replacement centres – and have taken over the running of NHS hospitals before, but this is the first time a bubblewrap manufacturer will manage a full range of treatments for patients convicted of serious crimes who are also suffering from severe mental illnesses and personality disorders.

The government however, has hailed the deal and has said the new contract will bring substantial savings to the taxpayer. A spokesperson for Number 10 denied the sale of Broadmoor would mean the public could be put at risk:

No patient found guilty of a crime will be released from Broadmoor into the community without first undergoing thorough assessment tests provided by the company’s own experienced experts in the field of bubblewrap use and popping. And when patients are released, they will now have extensive access to the most up-to-date and impressive bubblewrap materials available on the market which the patients will be able to buy for themselves at very competitive prices. So there’s nothing to worry about at all

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