Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/588/7569

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 July 2009

NHS: "Transforming Community Services"

Another stepping stone towards health privatisation

UNITE UNION reps from across the north-west gathered in Wigan recently to consider how best to fight the latest government proposal to break up the NHS - "Transforming Community Services" (TCS).

Andy Ford, North and East Manchester NHS Unite branch member

Under TCS, NHS Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have to split themselves into two halves - a commissioning arm, which buys health care and a provider arm which contains all the services and staff - health visitors, speech therapists, mental health teams, etc. Not only that, but they are then to be compelled to put most of their services up for a form of 'market testing'.

A quick scan through the back pages of Health Service Journal will find all sorts of services - from Diabetic Services and Chlamydia Screening to Cardiac Rehabilitation and Mental Health Services - all put up for tender, with "bids invited". It would appear that anyone can bid to run these services - charities, other NHS bodies, private companies, or the government's latest idea to break up the NHS by stealth - 'Social Enterprises'.

Social Enterprises will be a form of staff partnership - NHS staff will be encouraged to opt out of the 'shackles of the NHS' to offer services directly themselves. They will be guaranteed the contract for three years.

But at the end of the three years these mini-enterprises will be easy pickings for the giant health multinationals - Kaiser Permanente, United Healthcare, Netcare UK or even BUPA. They will be minnows in a pool of sharks.

Even in the first three years, staff who opt for a social enterprise will also find they have opted out of the NHS pension. But even worse, if they are 'sold off' or transferred to a private business or a charity they will soon find just how illusory the protection afforded by the TUPE legislation really is - the new employers can change or cut the pay or terms of employment provided they can show a 'technical reason' for doing so.

Disquiet is growing amongst NHS primary care staff as they see the nightmare the government has prepared for them. Morale is already low as it is only a few years since the government's previous reorganisation of PCTs.

The new regulations do give PCTs a choice. They can opt to commission services from their own staff, and they can merge with other NHS organisations to become stronger. So, campaigning work by the NHS trade unions can force PCTs away from the most damaging choices.

In the north-west we have made a start by lobbying the board of the Rochdale PCT, which seemed to be in the vanguard of outsourcing services. A lively lobby of a dozen trade unionists evoked universal support from PCT employees, passers-by and also a lot of Rochdale council staff.

All expressed contempt and opposition for privatisation, outsourcing and constant re-organisations. Many said they were "glad to see the unions doing something".

Without a fightback staff may very well find themselves waking up in a new organisation, out of the NHS pension and with threats of pay cuts, downgrading or outright privatisation hanging over their heads. One government paper boasts of possibly transferring 250,000 staff out of the NHS.

Unite has a good national campaign running - Health B4 Profit - and the other unions are beginning to act. And local campaigns can help tip the balance.

Further info - www.unitetheunion.com/ sectors/health_sector

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 22 July 2009:

Corus... Vestas... Defend every job!


No Job Cuts

Vestas: Support the occupation

Vestas jobs fightback

Action to save steel jobs at Corus


Unison witchhunt

Defend the Four: Protest at the Unison witch-hunt

Unison witch-hunt verdict causes outrage amongst trade unionists


Youth fight for jobs

Youth fight for jobs fortnight of action


Workplace news

National strike action to halt attacks on workers and our postal services

Tube workers' action wins concessions

South Yorkshire First Buses strike over pay

London Met Uni strike

Every little helps Tesco's as they attack workers

Teachers strike against job cuts

Care homes public meeting


Pensions

Union action to fight the attacks on our pensions

Pensions - in brief

Pensions: We say


Anti-racism

BNP get police to arrest socialists

Lincoln fights back against racist BNP

Stop the BNP's 'festival' of hate

Rock Against Racism


Socialist Party campaigns

Keep Deptford Jobcentre open!

Build the Tamil Solidarity campaign

Devon residents against incinerators: Alternative waste schemes needed

Another stepping stone towards health privatisation


Marxist analysis: history

20th anniversary of Soviet miners' strike


Comment

40th anniversary of the moon landing What steps has humanity taken?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 July 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Health:

triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleSave our NHS

triangleGlenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

triangleVictory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

Privatisation:

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita

NHS:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTyneside walk-in closures postponed after rally

triangleBranson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

Unions:

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleAfter the budget - unions must launch pay fight

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

16/12/17

North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2