The NHS ethos is being further undermined in Yorkshire’s East Riding with the ‘whitewash’ awarding of a community health services contract to a ‘better profit business’, Unite, the country’s largest union, has said.
Unite is asking serious questions why East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) awarded the five-year contract, worth an annual £27 million, to City Health Care Partnership (CHCP) when, the union understands, that the competing bid from the Humber NHS Foundation Trust was lower.
The union, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that the benchmark should be ‘best value for money’ when it comes to awarding NHS contracts, which appeared not to have been followed in the case.
Unite regional officer Malcolm Hancock said: “I wrote to the CCG asking it to explain why it had awarded the contract to CHCP bearing in mind that it is my understanding that CCGs are supposed to provide ‘best value for money’ when awarding NHS contracts.
“The Humber NHS Foundation Trust bid was of a lower cost than the CHCP one, but, nevertheless, East Riding of Yorkshire CCG awarded the contract to CHCP, thus ensuring that it went to the private sector.
“It took six weeks for me to get a response which, in my opinion, was nothing other than a ‘whitewash’.
“City Health Care Partnership describes itself as a ‘better profit business’ which can be interpreted as it is a business keen to make a big profit out of the NHS.
“What is happening is a systematic undermining of the NHS ethos. This is reinforced by media reports that nurses and therapists are quitting their jobs at the Humber trust since this contract was awarded to a healthcare firm outside the NHS.
“These NHS professionals are protesting at the continued privatisation of the NHS by voting with their feet.
“We think that serious questions need to be asked about the mechanics of how this controversial contract was awarded”
The CCG was engulfed in a row last week when it hosted on its website an advert from the Humber Coast and Vale Sustainability and Transformation Plan calling for marketing experts to apply for a contract for a ‘guerrilla marketing’ campaign ‘to turn down the noise’ about NHS cuts.
Notes to editors:
The CHCP contract is due to start on 1 April 2017.
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: email@example.com
- 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.