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Potential privatisation of Staffordshire cancer care

3rd July 2014

Staffordshire's cancer care could be privatised as part of a £1.2bn contract.

NHS (2)This would be the biggest outsourcing deal in the NHS history. Four clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are tendering their services together and potentially offering a private company or an NHS body a chance to provide integrated care across the county - from diagnosis through to treatment and end-of-life care.

The Unison trade union says the possibility of this decision leading to the privatisation across its county and surrounding areas is a "huge gamble".

The CCGs currently in charge said that the patients' treatment would remain unaffected.

Andrew Donald, chief officer for Stafford and Surrounds, said the decision has yet to be made. He also said: "It could be an NHS body, it could be a voluntary body, it could be a private body or it could be all of them working together."

He emphasised that the bidding process was intended to lead to better value to the patient and that: "The NHS in lots of areas is inefficient and we've got to make the taxpayers' pound go further."

The head of Unison trade union, Christina McAnea, said: "This is by far the biggest procurement process in the NHS and is a dangerous experiment.

"We are talking about £1bn of taxpayers' money and contracts lasting 10 years in vital cancer services and end-of-life care."

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