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DH health analysis provider to be sold

The UK's Department of Health is to sell its health information provider Dr Foster Intelligence, in which it holds a minority stake

The UK's Department of Health (DH) has announced that Dr Foster Intelligence - an information and analysis provider within the fields of health and social care – is to be sold.

The decision is intended to make Dr Foster Intelligence completely independent of government control, as the DH currently holds a 48.75 per cent stake in the organisation.

Dr Foster Holdings LLP, which holds the remaining 51.25 per cent shares in Dr Foster Intelligence will also market its stake for sale. The DH says that selling all shares together would make the organisation a more attractive prospect for potential buyers as well as ensuring best value for shareholders.

Tom Moloney, CEO, Dr Foster Intelligence, said: "All parties believe that an independent Dr Foster Intelligence will be best placed to help its customers and stakeholders implement the information revolution called for in health services, and we will work together in the coming months to ensure an effective and robust sale process."

The announcement follows the government's spending review framework in June, with departments encouraged to focus on essential activities and to obtain maximum value from assets not needed to be held in the public sector.

A review of options available to the DH concerning Dr Foster Intelligence was subsequently held in August 2010.

Health minister Simon Burns said: "Organisations should be free to innovate and present data, and the government should ensure that it is maximising the value of its assets.

"As our reforms set out, more comprehensive and transparent information, including patients' own ratings, is vital for true choice. Without it, patients and service users cannot make informed choices and take control of their care."

11th November 2010

From: Healthcare

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