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2007 Health Care Service Group Conference
22 December 2006

The Government’s so-called reforms of the NHS are gathering pace and are preparing the way for more privatisation. On 28 July UNISON reps in the Prescription Pricing Division (PPD) of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) were informed that the PPD is looking at options to privatise the services. This is in addition to the announcement last November of hundreds of job losses and site closures when new technology becomes available.

A proposal to privatise was put to NHS BSA in October 2006, but following determined opposition by the PPD shop stewards and ministerial intervention, this was postponed. However it has been made clear privatisation remains a real possibility.

Despite this reprieve, the threat of privatisation is so severe we believe this struggle should be at the centre of UNISON’s current NHS campaign.

The PPD is a highly efficient, cost effective public service run by NHS staff with the interests of the public, pharmacists, prescribers and the NHS at their heart. We are dedicated, successful and award-winning and we are not prepared to see the PPD outsourced to private sector and cut to the bone.

We therefore call upon Conference to build on the PPD branches campaigning to date as follows.

1.Making the PPD a priority in UNISON’s campaign against the privatisation of the NHS.

2.Providing branches with the resources required to resist privatisation and protect pay and conditions.

3.Campaign with all relevant organisations to bring about a reversal of the Government’s drive to privatise the PPD and the NHS in general.

4.Continue with parliamentary lobbying and call on UNISON Labour Link to work with the UNISON group of M.P.s to stop the growth of the private sector in health.

5.Commit to action including lobbies, rallies and demonstrations to defend PPD jobs and services and oppose privatisation.

6.Support PPD members who undertake lawful industrial action.