UNISON protests to Jeremy Hunt about huge NHS contract award

Union writes to the Secretary of State for Health asking him not to allow the award of a huge NHS contract to a private company

In her letter to Jeremy Hunt, National Secretary for Health Christina McAnea expresses the union’s ‘grave concern and disappointment’ at the decision of NHS England to conclude contract discussions with Capita.

The contract is to provide primary care support services to the NHS in England for up to 10 years. It was advertised as worth up to £1billion but has been shrouded in secrecy.

An NHS England board meeting held a secret meeting before the general election at which it was agreed to recommend Capita be the preferred bidder.

As NHS England is an NHS arms-length board this proposed deal needs to be approved by the Department of Health and Cabinet Office.

Christina McAnea’s letter makes UNISON’s opposition clear and stresses the implications for the public in England if a huge private company has responsibility for patient’s medical records and screening services.

Hundreds of UNISON members work in this service and face redundancy if Capita take over.

She concludes: “Our union is asking if you could intervene with NHS England to explore whether this service should and could remain directly part of the NHS because of its importance to basic but essential services.

“The repercussions to the NHS in England if this very complex contract was to fail would be extremely serious.”


Read the full letter to Jeremy Hunt