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NHS Privatisation Danger In Brighton

Thursday, September 5, 2013

GMB Concern That Sexual Health Services In Brighton Face Privatisation

Under the guise of claiming that integration of services will be more cost effective another part of the NHS is potentially going to be placed in the hands of private profiteers says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff in the health service, has called for assurances that the continuation of Clinical Sexual Health services within Brighton and Hove will remain with NHS providers. This was after it was announced that both the Claude Nicol clinic for genito-urinary medicine (GUM) and Morley Street contraception and sexual health (CASH) clinics are to be integrated and put out to procurement through a public tendering process next year.

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser, said “Once again under the guise of claiming that integration of services will be more cost effective, another part of the NHS is potentially going to be placed in the hands of private profiteers.

The issue is that these private organisations will look to maximise profits and that through doing so will potentially threaten both the pay and terms & conditions of our members and staff, and see a reduction in the quality of the service they provide for the people of Brighton.

GMB has called for an immediate meeting with BSUH Chief Executive Matthew Kershaw on the proposed privatisation of clinical sexual health services at the Royal Sussex County Hospital. This is to discuss our concerns and to seek reassurance that the Trust are seeking to retain all sexual health services which they currently provide, and that services like HIV provision will be continued at BSUH regardless of any potential bidding outcome.

There are concern that HIV treatment which has been provided for by the Trust through the infrastructure provided by GUM clinics and if the contract were to be won by a new provider it might exclude the provision of HIV treatment services. The Trust, who has previously provided joined GUM and HIV treatment services, could find it’s no longer viable to continue to provide HIV treatment services independently from GUM. If this happens then there could of course be potential implications for HIV patients if their service had to be transferred to a new provider.

GMB will continue to monitor and challenge all actions of Mr Kershaw and the senior management team in this matter to ensure this city’s NHS hospital and its most valuable resource (staff) are not sold off, exploited or undervalued to line the pockets of private health profiteers.”

End

Contact: Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser on 07552165950 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977518042 or Rob Macey, GMB Senior Organiser 07710 618 908 or  GMB Press Office on 07921 289880

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