Suspension of planned privatisation of cancer services in Staffs

The news today (Tuesday) that the threatened privatisation of NHS cancer services in Staffordshire has been put on hold has been welcomed by UNISON. But the union is urging health bosses to drop the plans completely.

Last month UNISON wrote to the body that oversees the tendering and awarding of NHS contracts – the Staffordshire clinical commissioning group leading the exercise – urging it to call time on the costly process.

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “At last the commissioners have seen sense, and listened to the 70,000 local people who signed the petition opposing the moves to auction off cancer and end-of-life services in Staffordshire.

“The government’s obsession with the market has already led to a number of costly failures. At Hinchingbrooke Hospital for example, Circle beat a hasty retreat when it realised it had overstretched itself, leaving the NHS to pick up the pieces.

“Cancer services in Staffordshire could have gone the same way. Thankfully that now looks unlikely. NHS patients locally need to have certainty about their services and who is responsible for organising them. Postponement is not enough, the plans should now be scrapped.”

UNISON media contacts:

Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E:

Alan Weaver T: 020 7121 5555 M: 07939 143310 E:

Sophie Goodchild T: 020 7121 5546 M:  07767 325595 E: