Carillion crash hits NHS hospitals hard

0
478
Cleaners, security and catering staff at the Royal London Hospital took strike action against their employer Serco last year
Cleaners, security and catering staff at the Royal London Hospital took strike action against their employer Serco last year

THE LIQUIDATION of Carillion has created such a crisis in the NHS that 14 hospital Trusts have had to trigger their emergency ‘contingency plans’ and rush in extra staff in a desperate attempt to ensure vital cleaning, maintenance and catering services keep operating.

Additional staff have been sent to six major hospitals where Carillion was contracted to provide essential maintenance, catering, cleaning and portering services. 8,000 of Carillion’s 20,000 strong workforce worked in the health sector. When Carillion collapsed on Monday morning many of the services that they provided also collapsed. If hospital cleaning is not kept up absolutely rigorously on a daily basis life threatening infections spread putting patients’ lives at risk.

Vidas Gricius a Unite member who works as a Serco cleaner for the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel said: ‘If there is not enough cleaning staff, the whole hospital will start to shut down. We are the first line in defence to stop infections spreading.

‘A dirty hospital cannot function. If the cleaning staff are no longer there then that hospital will have to be shut or it becomes a danger to patients health. Some hospital infections are deadly. If there is an outbreak we shut down a ward and isolate it from the rest of the hospital.’

An NHS Improvement spokesperson said: ‘We have a duty to maintain safe, high quality services for our patients. That’s why we’ve been working with trusts and with private sector providers to have extensive contingency plans in place.’

Carillion was also being used to build two new hospitals. Since the collapse both The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals (RLBUH) and Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trusts new builds have been halted in their tracks.

Adam Kehoe, chief executive at RLBUH said: ‘The news about Carillion is extremely worrying for their staff and sub-contractors and we hope that they receive the necessary support. We want to reassure people that the new Royal will be built.’