UNISON warns outsourcing will not solve NHS financial problems

Responding to the Carter Review on NHS operational productivity UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said: “Of course every effort should be made to cut waste and inefficiency in the NHS and to make economies of scale where possible.

“Repealing the Health and Social Care Act would be a good first step. The legislation has not only lead to a greater fragmentation of the NHS, but it has also meant increased costs for the health service too.

“Cutting administrative costs to six per cent or outsourcing to the private sector will have huge implications for the NHS and patient services. There is no evidence to suggest that awarding contracts to the private sector improves services, and there is a long history of contracts failing when private firms get involved.

“The report completely ignores the effect of the government’s savage cuts in council and social care funding. Fifteen minute homecare visits, a high turnover of the workforce, and elderly people stuck in hospital because there is no support for them at home is the result.

“The worry is that some will see this report as justification for continuing to privatise the administrative functions of the NHS, and to cut staff numbers further still. But the very people who can help save the NHS millions of pounds have been made redundant as hospitals have been forced to make cuts.

“All staff in the NHS – including administrative and managerial staff – have a key role in supporting clinical services. Even the best performing trusts are struggling due to the effects of government cuts, and the knock on effect that the crisis in social care is having upon the health service.”

Media contacts:

Alan Weaver T: 0207 121 5555 M: 07939 143310 E: a.weaver@unison.co.uk

Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk

Fatima Ayad T: 0207 121 5255 M: 07508 080383 E: f.ayad@unison.co.uk