Unison is calling on patients and residents to ‘fight-back’ against the planned privatisation of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent cancer and end of life care services.
Speaking at a public meeting in Burton-on-Trent, Unison Assistant General Secretary Karen Jennings will say that the contract, worth £1.2 billion of public money, is the biggest NHS privatisation attempt to date and covers the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent.
Virgin, Care UK and Ramsay Health are all in the running for the new ten-year deal, which Karen – an ex nurse – describes as a “dangerous experiment” that puts the “profit motive” ahead of providing high quality care.
The contract includes providing healthcare services for patients approaching the end of their lives and for children suffering from cancer.
Karen Jennings said: “This is beyond a dangerous experiment – it’s treacherous – a privatisation too far even for this Government.
“We are not talking about peripheral services. The contract is for end of life care and the broad range of cancer services, including the treatment and care of children suffering from cancer. All absolutely integral and core NHS work. And none of the companies in the running have the experience of dealing with this breadth of services.
“Clinical Commissioning Groups are potentially handing over all decision-making on these crucial services to private companies.
“This is much bigger than just asking private companies to provide a service, this is asking them to design the whole system. With profit as the main driving force, how can it not lead to problems?
“Experience has shown that when the profit motive is introduced into care, it affects the level and the quality of service, and staff numbers are cut.”
Unison is urging the British public to join their campaign against the government’s privatisation of the NHS.
Unison is also calling on Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent residents who oppose the sell-off of cancer and of life care services to lobby local MPs and Councillors.