Establishing Procurement Policies in Commissioning Organisations

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2015 Health Care Service Group Conference
27 November 2014

The Health and Social Care Act has completely changed the way commissioning is undertaken in the NHS with commissioning decisions paving the way for increased outsourcing and privatisation.

UNISON remains vigorously opposed to privatisation of public services. Conference believes that privatisation is taking clinicians away from frontline care as they spend increased time on tenders. Staff face losing their jobs as NHS organisations have to remain financially competitive when placing their bids. It is hard for organisations to invest in staff in these uncertain times and the impact is detrimental to staff morale.

Conference believes that following and challenging commissioning decisions which lead to increased outsourcing and privatisation is hard for branches to keep abreast of. All too often Branches only find out about decisions to tender services when the tender has already gone out. Branches have little chance to ask employers to evaluate and improve current services before tendering. Commissioners often say information is commercially sensitive to keep us in the dark and there is little, if any, UNISON input into the tendering process.

Conference calls upon the Health Service Group Executive to use the current partnership forums in place across the commissioning NHS organisations to seek to negotiate a procurement policy which covers alternatives to contracting out and how the organisation will involve trade unions in the process.