A public meeting will be held tomorrow (Wednesday 2 April) to celebrate the victory at keeping the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton in the NHS – and not being parcelled out to the private healthcare sector.
The meeting at Bermuda Phoenix Centre, Bermuda Road, Nuneaton, CV10 7HU at 19.00 tomorrow has been organised by Unite, the country’s largest union.
Last week, health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s bid to privatise large swathes of the NHS received a major set-back when the boards of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust and the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) decided not to go down the road that could have led to the hospital being taken over by a private healthcare company.
Unite regional officer Caren Evans said: “We plan to discuss the victory at tomorrow’s meeting and future support for the hospital in the months ahead, which includes the Care Quality Care Commission (CQC) inspection and possible foundation trust status.
“The community and the trade unions were key to the decision to keep the George Eliot Hospital within the NHS and not being parcelled up for the benefit of private healthcare companies and their shareholders.
“The meeting will be discussing more generally how the people of Warwickshire can mobilise to keep much valued NHS services within the public sector.”
Three organisations - South Warwickshire NHS Trust and two private companies, Circle and Care UK - were in the bidding to takeover George Eliot Hospital until last week.
The hospital has made significant improvements as a result of the Keogh report and has shown how the NHS with the right support is the best way of turning round local hospitals.
Unite national officer for health Rachael Maskell said: “Jeremy Hunt was given a bloody nose last week over his attempts to privatise large segments of the NHS as fast as possible for the benefit of private healthcare companies when the George Eliot decision was announced.
“This was a victory that could have massive implications for the future of the NHS in England.”
Unite has recently adopted a leverage campaign to exert maximum pressure to keep the NHS public.
For further information please contact:
Unite regional secretary Gerard Coyne on 07711 082890
Unite regional officer Caren Evans on 07717 272 497
Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693 940
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
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.