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Call to halt NHS privatisation

1st March 2007

Unison has called for an immediate halt to using private sector providers and an independent review into the impact of the increasing privatisation on the NHS.

nurse cuts

Multinational companies were ‘bleeding the NHS dry’ and destabilising the NHS, said Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.

Private sector providers were being paid above NHS prices as incentives, while the NHS struggled with a £500m-plus deficit.

In a new report, the union recognised the patient choice agenda was attractive in theory, but concluded that it was unlikely to work in practice.

There was nothing in place to prevent firms from taking only the most financially rewarding patients, while the ability of providers to respond quickly to changing needs was also in doubt.

Competition threatened continuity of care and the collaboration needed to ensure high quality of care, said the report. There was also no clear and universal regulation.

The union also predicted only the better off patients would exercise choice.


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