Public Private Partnerships of United Kingdom
Britain’s state-owned industries were sold off under successive Conservative governments in the 1980s and 1990s, with British Telecom and British Gas floated on the stock market and competition introduced in the telecoms, gas, electricity, rail and bus markets. Both the domestic private sector and foreign-headquartered companies have, therefore, had a plethora of contracts to bid for if they can provide services and engineering expertise to government and council-specified schemes. Many large construction projects have used public–private partnerships over the last couple of decades, with private finance initiatives seen as a cost-effective way to raise funding for major works. The current coalition government has introduced a new layer of private sector involvement into the state-run National Health Service (NHS), which sees companies – and not-for-profit organisations such as charities – able to bid for contracts for anything from providing mental health services and out-of-hours care to diagnostic work such as blood tests.