RESIDENTS and community leaders have called for a rethink on plans to award a £1.2billion contract for cancer and end of life care in Staffordshire.
The contract will be awarded by four of the county’s clinical commissioning groups awarding with the selected company providing services from April next year.
Gerard Coyne, Unite the Union’s West Midlands regional secretary, said: “We cannot allow our NHS to be split up in a piecemeal approach which favours private sector profit margins instead of patient care. Patients should not be used to line the pockets of private business. It’s against the founding principles of the NHS. The CCGs need to think again and stop this backdoor privatisation of cancer care in Staffordshire.”
Rob Taylor of Staffordshire Communities said: “It’s bad enough that cancer care and end of life services in Staffordshire are being sold-off but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The sell-off could become irreversible because of secret trade talks.”
Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Kate Godfrey said: “This is the biggest privatisation in NHS history and the first time ever that private companies have been offered the chance to make money out of people living with cancer. It’s privatisation of services which should never be taken out of public hands.”
Andrew Donald, chief officer of Cannock Chase and Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We want to provide the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent with world-class cancer and end of life care.
“Patients and carers have told us things are not as good as they should be. They have told us about not always knowing who to turn to in a crisis and about feeling they have become lost in the system or that they have struggled to get the right support at the right time. It’s clear to us that this is not acceptable.”