October 31, 2006 19:01 ET

Amicus accuse government of wholesale privatisation in the NHS

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 01, 2006) -

Embargoed release: 00.01 Wednesday 1st November 2006

Amicus say that NHS services are being privatised in their entirety and are failing to provide value for money.

On the eve of a lobby of sixteen NHS trade unions representing over a million health service staff, Amicus say they are concerned about the pace of privatisation in NHS.
Amicus say plans to hive off 300,000 audiology tests and hearing aid fittings every year for the next five years, exceeds the existing NHS capacity by a third.

Amicus' Head of Health, Kevin Coyne, said:

"Between the hiving off of these services on top of those already being transferred to the Independent Sector Treatment Centres audiology services are effectively being privatised.

"Not only do the new services fail to provide value for money, we are also concerned that our members employed in these areas in the NHS will leave rather than face working for private contactors.

"Amicus is also concerned that these changes are being introduced by the backdoor, without any consultation with either patient users or staff."

Amicus has also expressed concerns about the new Independent Sector Treatment Centres which receive guaranteed funding, irrespective of the number of treatments that they give.

Amicus is one of the sixteen health unions making up NHS Together, an unprecedented alliance which has been formed to urge the Government to change course in its future management of the NHS.

The campaign recognises that there have been many improvements in the NHS in recent years, but is concerned that this progress is now under threat because sudden budget cuts in some NHS Trusts are threatening jobs and patients; there has been too much top down change that has failed to involve or win the support of staff; and the fragmentation of the NHS is hindering the ability of health professionals to provide the best possible patient care.

- Ends-

Note to editors

NHS Together consists of Amicus; British Dietetic Association; British Orthoptic Society; British Medical Association; Community and District Nursing Association; Chartered Society of Physiotherapy; GMB; Hospital Consultants' and Specialists' Association; Managers in Partnership; Royal College of Midwives; Royal College of Nursing; The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists; Society of Radiographers; TGWU; TUC; Unison.

Contact Information

  • Amicus Press Office
    Saba Mozakka
    020 7420 8916
    07768 693 953