Protect NHSBT as a public service

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2016 Health Care Service Group Conference
20 January 2016

Conference welcomes the Partnership agreement between UNISON and NHSBT signed at the end of 2015 where UNISON agreed to promote and publicise amongst its members the organ donation register and the blood donation service.

UNISON agreed to support NHSBT as the values it is built on are the founding values of the NHS. Ordinary people in society helping others by donating blood or their organs to help others. These are values that embody the best of the public services but in stark contrast to the actions of this government which are privatising NHS services and handing more and more work to the private profit making sector.

It is not just that the private sector cannot manage or run services any better than the public sector but it is the awful and plainly wrong philosophy being pursued by this government allowing their friends in big business to make a profit from health care that we condemn unreservedly. NHSBT remains a public service employer built on free donations and UNISON proudly supports this and promotes its philosophy.

We may however as a Union from time to time have disagreements with NHSBT about how it is running these services. Our members and branches in Sheffield and Newcastle opposed the closures of manufacturing facilities by NHSBT in those two cities (and their consolidation in Manchester) because we do not think that such consolidation is right or safe for the NHS. UNISON will continue to support its members affected by closure in these cities and continue to campaign publicly to try and get this decision taken by the board of NHSBT reversed.

With in the NHSBT our UNISON Representatives have been made aware that we have another 24 months of change in all of their directives due to cuts to the wider NHS and the NHSBT as an Arm’s Length Body. This can only be detrimental to our members and the wider NHS. The NHSBT believe consolidation of a National company is the answer to the cuts that they are required to make. Conference sees the removal of local services as a risk to the NHS and the people who rely on this service to maintain their quality of life.

Conference condemns the removal of local services such as manufacturing, Organ Donation and the closure of rural Blood Donation teams.