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Private firms win two more NHS contracts

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 01, 2013

Private firms win two more NHS contracts

Comments (7)

Unions have lamented a "sad day for the NHS" after contracts to run two parts of the health service were handed to the private sector.

In one announcement, NSL, a company behind on-street parking and enforcement across the UK, was earmarked as taking over non-urgent patient transport services in most of Devon and Cornwall from South Western Ambulance.

In a second development, private firm Peninsula Community Health – which operates cottage hospitals in Cornwall – Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Cornwall Council, confirmed a contract for back-room office functions had been signed with BT.

Stuart Roden, a regional organiser for Unison, said he was deeply disappointed by the decisions.

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"In my view this is a bad day for the NHS," he said.

"The public sector is in it to provide a public service, while the private sector is in it to make money.

"It's a world of difference."

Mr Roden said staff were deeply worried about their future job security.

"They think this will have an impact on their job security."

NSL, which used to be part of the car parking giant NCP, will take over routine patient transport from the South Western Ambulance Service, part of the NHS family which will retain responsibility for 999 services.

The company will begin operations in October, except in Plymouth and South Devon, after being awarded the five-year contract.

Kernow Clinical Commission Group, the GP-led organisation which took over buying healthcare from the now defunct primary care trusts on April 1, said the decision had been made by its predecessor.

Andrew Abbott, Director of Operations at NHS Kernow, said: "The new service will ensure that patients across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have access to quality non-emergency patient transport services across a greater range of sites and times than previously provided."

Meanwhile Peninsula Community Health (PCH) and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust formally signed the contract on March 28 to award a range of back-room service such as IT and document management to BT.Kevin Baber, former Chief Executive of PCH, said it was good news: “Signing the contract marks the start of a great opportunity for us to be able to work together to deliver excellent services.”

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  • ArtfulDodger  |  May 01 2013, 10:24AM

    Of course it's acceptable to make profits from the sick and elderly, it's the level of service and care that is important.... And Bob before you compare financial states of affairs look in your own back garden first... From leading experts: 'In one of the gloomiest forecasts issued on the Canadian economy since the recession, Capital Economics predicts a sharp and protracted housing correction, in conjunction with muted business investment and government austerity, will keep Canada's economy in stall mode throughout 2013 with a one per cent growth rate, only improving slightly to 1.3 per cent in 2014'

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  • BobToronto  |  May 01 2013, 4:57AM

    Nick Thompson You are not answering the question because it does not need to be asked. You then talk about 'we' having in house cleaners. Who or what are you talking about? Your stating 'we' is not proof of anything. Quality control is not a private/ public issue. Their are specific failures in both. Think Mid Staffordshire. Nearly all doctors are paid piecework in Canada directly by the provincial government. These doctors employ their office staff. I do not care how he/she is paid provided I get good care when I am sick. For the record, in November I had excellent care when I had a replacement hip. As it happened my sister-in-law in England had a new knee in October had to pay through BUPA to get decent care. One of the doctors caring for me was 'just off the boat' from England. He told me the public financed care in Ontario was better 'night compared to day' than the NHS. My costs involved the purchases of a walking stick, Zimmer frame, and about $150 of drugs and a few other miscellaneous costs Compare that with BUPA premiums. And you are talking about who employs cleaners. I hope you live to a healthy old age without having NHS care. If you have no BUPA care you are putting you and your family at risk. This is what should worry you, not the employment of NHS cleaners. I am sorry to be blunt, but your attitude is part of the UK problem. If it is wrong to profit from healthcare, it would be wrong to make money from food production, building houses, producing clothing etc. You know the economic basket case the Soviet Union became but you still think profits are wrong. Please think logically. Canada does not hav

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  • jimjams2011  |  April 30 2013, 7:01PM

    There is corruption going on here somewhere. It is well known thatBT had this contract in the bag ages ago. How did serco get on btw?

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  • nickthompson  |  April 30 2013, 5:34PM

    Bob Toronto: "This question is not answered either in the article or the two comments".------------------------------- The Question does NOT need to be asked, the track record of medical privatisations speak for themselves, when we had "in house" cleaners MRSA was rarely heard of, residential care of the elderly, when did we ever hear of a council run elderly persons home where folk were being starved, through lack of staff. YOU CANNOT, and SHOULD NOT MAKE PROFITS by caring for the sick or elderly.

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  • BobToronto  |  April 30 2013, 11:11AM

    Is the public getting better service or the tax payer reduced costs from these management changes? This question is not answered either in the article or the two comments. Job security or management profits are secondary considerations. If current employees are providing excellent service then they should have no worries about their jobs. If the new management can organize their business more efficiently then why should they be rewarded? Politicalization of economic decisions is the Achilles heal of public control of economic activities.

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  • nickthompson  |  April 30 2013, 10:18AM


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  • toffer99  |  April 30 2013, 10:15AM

    The government is simply taking our NHS and giving it piece by piece to their friends. Was this in anybody's manifesto before the election? Of course not. And our taxes will be given to the private firms as subsidies so that they can make a profit. Just like the railways, privatised bus companies and power companies. Who'll get rich? This lot https://twitter.com/marcuschown/status/328594579400036355/photo/1

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