Date: Wednesday, 15 March 2017
Publication: The News Line

BARNSLEY Central MP Dan Jarvis has backed a GMB campaign against the privatisation of Barnsley hospital.

Demonstrators are expected to gather outside the hospital today in anger at a deal which raises a potential conflict of interest for the directors. The trust which runs the hospital lost a massive £16.2 million last year and is now embarking on a frenzied drive to slash costs.

But the lion’s share of these losses come from ‘contractual penalties’ from private firms and ‘additional spend on agency staff’. Unbelievably, these are not the issues addressed in the plan for cut-backs.

Instead, the trust envisages even greater out-sourcing of jobs and services to the very same private companies that are responsible for the mess in the first place. This initially involves the out-sourcing of estates maintenance, portering, procurement and other non-clinical departments, but will eventually involve all non-clinical staff.

However, the directors of the private company – Barnsley Hospital Services Limited (BHSS) – are directors and non-executive directors of Barnsley Hospital NHS Trust – exposing a fundamental conflict of interests. GMB says this raises huge questions over what the directors stand to gain from the new company.

Stacey Booth, GMB Organiser, said: ‘This protest shows how angry people are – we do not want privatisation in Barnsley. We need answers. The trust has not explained their claims that the new arrangement will save money for patient care – or what the directors stand to gain by being the directors of BHSS as well as directors and non-executive directors of Barnsley Hospital NHS Trust.

‘GMB believes that those who do the work, on the frontline every day, to keep the NHS going should not have to worry about their jobs and conditions; and that all hospital services should be brought back within house as the first step to financial prudence and simple decency.’

This article comes from Workers Revolutionary Party

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