The fight to save George Eliot hospital in Nuneaton from the clutches of privatisation will be taken to the trust chairman and the directors tomorrow (Wednesday 26 February) as they gather for their monthly board meeting.
Protesters, including members of Unite, will gather outside the public meeting to tell the board that ‘big business has no business in our NHS, or the George Eliot’.
WHEN: Wednesday 26 February 2014, at 13.00
WHERE: George Eliot Hospital public board meeting, Coleshill Town Hall, 144 High Street, Coleshill, B46 3BG.
Unite, the country’s biggest union, is concerned that the odds are stacked in favour of a profit-driven private healthcare company taking over the running of the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in a deal that could have huge ramifications for small district hospitals across England.
The hospital has become the first district hospital that the Trust Development Authority (TDA) has allowed private companies to tender for in a bid to reverse the hospital’s past poor performance and high death rates which are being robustly addressed, with 18 of the Keogh review recommendations already met.
Unite is urging the board to support the NHS solution and merge with the last remaining NHS trust South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT), rather than allowing taxpayer’s money to boost shareholder dividends, if a private company wins the bid.
Caren Evans, Unite regional officer, said: “Unite will be campaigning alongside staff, patients and the local community to make sure that the board knows that big business has no business in our NHS, or in our local hospital.
“Millions of taxpayer pounds are being wasted on a procurement process that would be better spent on improving patient outcomes and meeting the Keogh review recommendations. Instead we’re left to fight to keep profit hungry companies out of our NHS.
“There is not a scrap of evidence that private companies are more efficient or cost effective at delivering healthcare. In fact, the opposite is true; costs increase and services are fragmented.
“The hospital has turned a corner and after meeting 18 of the Keogh review recommendations since the summer is no longer failing. But we will have failed it, if we don’t do all we can to convince the board to partner with the only remaining NHS trust in the running; South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.”
Two private companies; Circle and Care UK and one NHS trust are all that remain in the race to run the hospital in partnership with the trust, after the financial goalposts were changed to exclude University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust from the bidding.
Over a week ago Unite reported that Sir Stuart Rose, the former Marks and Spencer boss appointed by Jeremy Hunt to shake up NHS management, sits on the board of a private equity firm with a multimillion pound stake in private healthcare firm Care UK.
For further information please contact Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774 146 777
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
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