I was delighted to learn this week of the success of the campaign at Pennine Acute against plans to privatise the payroll function.
These proposals would have meant the relocation of jobs outside the North West. In response, the UNISON branch worked with payroll workers and regional staff to develop in-house counter proposals that offered the Trust double the cost savings in the private sector bid. The union also showed public opposition to privatisation in the NHS, presenting a 3,000-name petition to the Trust which included the signatures of local politicians Michael Meacher MP(Oldham West & Royton), Jonathan Reynolds MP (Stalybridge & Hyde) David Heyes MP (Ashton-under-Lyne), and Rochdale Council Leader Colin Lambert.
The Trust has now backed the in-house bid for the payroll work and is seeking clarification on the rival in-house and private sector bids for the HR function. The Branch will be watching the Trust’s next move closely and we are all hopeful that this possible intrusion of the private sector into our NHS can be stopped. I’d encourage all branches to draw on regional staff support and the expertise of members to make sure there is always an in-house alternative to privatisation proposals.
The NHS is now plagued by attempts to carve out a role for the private sector and by cuts – regardless of what David Cameron might tell us.
The frontline cuts to our health service – brought about by inadequate Central Government funding – have been apparent recently in the North West Ambulance Service proposals to reduce emergency vehicles in communities across the Region.
Anyone requiring emergency medical assistance could face longer waits and we will all be potentially less safe as a result. It is a nonsense to have ambulances sitting idle for want of the resources to staff them, but that would be a reality if the proposals are introduced.