The Department of Health and Social Care has made undisclosed payments totalling £137 million to a company owned by healthcare tech magnate Frank Hester, who donated £5 million to the Conservative Party.

T he Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) financial dealings with Frank Hester’s Phoenix Partnership have remained shrouded in secrecy until now.

The DHSC has channelled a staggering £137 million towards digitising NHS records through this firm, with payments continuing at an astonishing rate of £800,000 per week.

What is striking is that the contracts responsible for these payments have not made their way onto the Government’s official procurement website, Contracts Finder. While the DHSC acknowledges the payments and the absence of contract publication, it contends that these payments were executed under a publicly available ‘contract framework,’ thus sidestepping the necessity to disclose individual contract awards.

The Scale of the Payments


Enjoy unlimited access now.

To get full access to this article,
simply become a member of PMP right now.
By doing so, you will be supporting
our independent journalism.


£3/month ∙ £5/month ∙ £7/month

You can cancel anytime.


Already a member? Sign in here!


✅ Read “PMP TODAY”, our exclusive newsletter
✅ Read exclusive member-only articles
✅ Read our daily review of the UK front pages
✅ Receive every new article by email
✅ Access all our articles
✅ Join the conversation: Comment our articles
Access our archives
✅ More importantly: Support independent journalism and keep the magazine going

Written by: