Health secretary Matt Hancock has a stake in his sister’s company that has recently won NHS contracts, it has emerged as questions are raised over the links between the Tory government and the private sector.
In the latest edition of the register of members of parliament’s interests, Hancock is shown to hold at least a 15% share in a company called Topwood Limited, with the declaration made last month.
Last month, Topwood won two NHS Wales contracts worth £150,000 each to carry out waste disposal services, including the shredding of confidential documents.
Health Service Journal also found Topwood has been in line for health contracts in England, securing a place on the NHS Shared Business Services framework for “confidential waste destruction and disposal” in 2019, just months after Hancock became secretary of state. The framework is effectively a shortlist of providers available to the local NHS. The HSJ added that Hancock did not declare his association with the firm in any of the published ministerial interests declarations of recent years,
Administration of the NHS in Wales is devolved to the country’s government, so does not fall under Hancock’s control.
There is no suggestion that Hancock influenced the award of the contracts or its place on the framework.
It is understood Hancock has no active participation in the running of the company and the minister discussed the shareholding with the department’s permanent secretary, its most senior civil servant.