Putting the Mid Staffordshire trust into administration is entering “uncharted territory”, which could open the door to further NHS privatisation, Unite, the country’s largest union, warned today (Friday 19 April).
The warning came on the eve of Unite members at the troubled Mid- Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust taking part in a public rally about the trust’s future in the Market Square, Stafford at 14.00 tomorrow (Saturday 20 April).
The scandal-hit trust became this week the first NHS foundation trust to be put into administration, following the damning Francis report into the hospital’s past record.
Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The trust has gone into administration, and its future is at risk. The fear is that it will be broken up and sold off to private healthcare companies, such as Virgin Care.
“We believe this would be very detrimental to patient care, and staff conditions and morale, as well as for the people of Staffordshire generally.
“We are entering into unchartered territory with the administration process. Other trusts in the country are in difficult financial circumstances, so the threat of NHS privatisation is greater than the situation that Mid Staffs finds itself.
“The public in England need to wake-up to this very real threat.”
Unite regional officer covering the trust Mick Stevens said: “Our members at the trust will be taking part tomorrow to show their concern that they don’t want NHS privatisation by the back door.
“The NHS should be free at the point of delivery for all those in need and not hived off to private healthcare companies that put profit before patient care in Staffordshire.”
Unite members at the trust work mainly in estates and pathology and as well as health visitors, psychologists and chaplains - and the membership is growing fast.
For further information please contact Mick Stevens on 07958 511574 and /or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.