Unite, the country’s biggest union, is warning Nottingham University Hospital Trust to stop the shocking sell off of its Estates and Facilities service to private contractors in a mega £200 million deal.
Today (Thursday 17 October), employees of the Estates and Facilities department at Nottingham University Hospital, including members of Unite, will deliver a petition, signed by 700 people, to the Trust’s chair Louise Scull denouncing the outright privatisation of the department.
Three private companies are now in the running to take over the maintenance and functioning of the Queen’s Medical Centre at Nottingham University Hospital, which includes portering and laundry services and building maintenance. The trust’s own in-house bid failed to make the shortlist to run the service valued at £200 million over five years
The 1,200 strong Estates and Facilities workforce has been left reeling by the announcement. Unite will meet with members this week to discuss the implications of the deal, but warns strike action cannot be ruled out.
Garry Guye, Unite officer, said: “The trust’s board needs to step back from the abyss and stop this shocking sell-off immediately. Our members were left stunned by the decision to reject the trust’s own in-house bid which would have kept the department where it belongs as part of the NHS.
“£200 million of NHS money is effectively being handed to the private sector on a plate. Staff are very concerned that the profit generated by these companies will be used to line the pockets of shareholders and not reinvested into improving patient care.
“From cleaning and portering to switchboard and security our members provide the services that keep Nottingham Hospital running. This worrying, and, growing trend in privatisation will continue to escalate unless we raise the public’s awareness of what is a short-sighted money-saving stunt, which will prove disastrous in the end.
“The Estates & Facilities Department at Nottingham University Hospital Trust has won numerous awards over the last decade. It has been shortlisted for a national prestigious Health Service Journal award for Improving Environmental and Social Sustainability. We won’t let it go without a fight.”
Unite members working in the Estates and Facilities department deliver a wide range of services including patient and non-patient catering, linen and laundry, cleaning, portering, switchboard, security and car parking, pest control, building maintenance and engineering.
For further information contact: Unite officer Garry Guye on 07768931279 or Chantal Chegrinec, Unite communications officer, on 07774 146 777
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.42 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey