Responding to the transfer of more than 700 staff at Chesterfield Royal Hospital Trust to a new private arm’s-length company this week, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
“This is bad news for staff and patients. The changes are built on savings from employing new recruits on worse pay, conditions and pension scheme, as well as slashing the trust’s VAT liability.
“The money will almost certainly not go into the pockets of staff, who need it most. The effect will be that more of our experienced staff leave an overstretched service and that putting the service outside the NHS will have a longer-term impact on patient care.
“It is a worrying pointer that the new NHS Improvement assessment process will effectively just be a rubber-stamp for further fragmentation of the health service.”
UNISON regional organiser Carol Brown said: “This is a sad day not only for service users of Chesterfield Royal Hospital, but for the dedicated staff who will be transferred out of their beloved NHS into a private company.
“The Trust has decided to go down this route and sell off its staff to save money. By lowering the standard of living for new staff in the area, it will have a knock-on effect on their spending power in local shops. We don’t want Chesterfield to turn into charity and pound-shop land, but when people have limited disposable income, that’s what happens to town centres.”
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.