NHS provision 'still preferred option', says health minister

Health minister Ann Keen has reassured union Unison/CPHVA that NHS provision remains the preferred option if it offers the most value for patients.

She added that there would be no automatic default to outsourcing in a ministerial statement.

Mick Jackson, Unison's senior national officer for health, said: ‘We are delighted that Mrs Keen has confirmed that NHS provision is still the preferred option, when it comes to the best value for patients, in a letter to Unison.

‘We now have a clear reassurance, in a ministerial statement, which is a small, but very important step.'

Mrs Keen wrote: ‘I can reassure you that the government's policy has not changed.

'It remains the position that, although World Class Commissioning encourages market testing, NHS provision remains the preferred option where it provides the best value for patients.

'There is no automatic default to an outsourcing solution.'

Earlier this week Unite/CPHVA launched a campaign calling for the end of the privatisation of the NHS. Health B4 Profit appears to chime with the BMA's anti-marketisation drive launched earlier this month.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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