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Battle to save Nuneaton's George Eliot Hospital co...

Battle to save Nuneaton's George Eliot Hospital comes to the capital

19 March 2014

The battle to save Nuneaton’s George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust from the clutches of privatisation will come to London tomorrow (Thursday 20 March) with community campaigners taking their fight to the door of the Trust Development Authority (TDA).

WHEN: Thursday 20 March 2014, 12:00 noon 
WHERE: NHS TDA Kings Fund 11-13 Cavendish Square WG1 0AN

Around 50 Unite members and local community campaigners will gather outside the TDA offices as board members meet to review the next stages of the George Eliot bidding process. A decision is expected on whether to reduce the number of bidders in the race to takeover the hospital from three to two.

Unite, the country’s biggest union, believes that people of Nuneaton and of North Warwickshire will be better served and the long term future of the small district general hospital secured through a merger with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, rather than by a profit-driven private company takeover.

The Nuneaton hospital is the first district hospital that the TDA has given the green light to private companies to tender for in a bid to improve the hospital’s failings, including, its high death rate, which are now being robustly addressed. 18 of the 25 Keogh recommendations have already been met. 

Caren Evans, Unite regional officer, said: Unite has been leading the fight to ensure that an NHS solution is found to secure the long term sustainability of the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.  

“We are utterly opposed to the government’s quick fix, ‘bring in the private sector’ solution to hospitals in special measures or struggling with debt.

“The private sector is the wrong answer for the George Eliot Hospital. South Warwickshire NHS FT, the only NHS trust in the race to takeover the hospital, is a safe pair of hands, with no debt and is best placed to provide integrated care pathways for patients. 

“George Eliot hospital has turned a corner with 18 of the 25 Keogh recommendations already met and five more soon to be . It has achieved this with the support of University Hospital Birmingham–another NHS trust – not a private sector company. 

“We believe that the future of district hospitals in England lies in a fully resourced, joined-up NHS and not being parcelled out to bidders from the private sector.”

The three organisations currently left in the running to takeover George Elliot are two private companies – Circle and Care UK - and one NHS trust - South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust. 

George Eliot has 318 beds, with 2,000 staff. Each year, it deals with 65,000 accident and emergency attendances, 20,000 planned admissions, 19,000 emergency admissions, 160,000 outpatient appointments and 2,500 births. The hospital opened in 1948 - the same year as the NHS - and is running a £5 million deficit.

ENDS

For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.