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2006 National LGBT Conference
9 November 2006

The recent “merger” of PHACE Scotland with the Terrance Higgins Trust (THT) has been met with alarm by the majority of HIV services within Scotland, only to be compounded by THT being awarded the Reachout Highland contract for service delivery in Northern Scotland. Such alarm was not engendered by an isolationist view of the respective organisations but the processes involved that certainly in the first case, between PHACE Scotland and THT, lacked transparency and consultation with partner agencies, but especially service users, families, carers and community groups who have been presented with a fait accompli.

While acknowledging the specialist nature of HIV services mainly delivered within the context of the community and voluntary sector in terms of social care, the move by health boards to competitive tendering processes is of a major concern. There are inherent dangers for small locally developed agencies with a person centred focuses when matched against large organisations with a history of “absorbing” such organisations.

We call upon colleagues in UNISON local government and health services to:-

1.highlight the concerns in the sector by supporting an awareness and recruitment campaign

2.ensure that any local developments have the service needs of users, carers and families to the fore

3.challenge processes that do not conform to best practice and respective standards of a unwelcome competitive tendering process