Commenting on proposals published today (Thursday) by NHS England setting out possible reforms to remove competition and reduce privatisation in the health service, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
“The government introduced the despised Health and Social Care Act against the advice of those who knew the NHS best. The market-driven system ushered in by the Act has already cost the NHS dearly.
“Resources that could have been spent caring for patients have been diverted into bidding for contracts – often against other parts of the NHS. Over-complex processes have been an unwelcome distraction for staff too.
“Ministers must not miss this opportunity to correct the worst aspects of that legislation.
“As the UK heads into an uncertain post-Brexit world, the NHS must be protected from the scourge of unnecessary competition and predatory private firms taking advantage of a possible weakening of UK trade rules.”
Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.