Unite demands end to purchaser/provider 'split'

A trade union has called for a halt to government plans to force all PCTs to offload their community services.

The DoH’s Transforming Community Services policy requires PCTs to have plans in place by October to establish provider organisations, which are separate from their commissioning roles. The government wants most of these services to become social enterprises or to be taken on by the private sector.

But writing in the June edition of Community Practitioner, Unite's lead nursing officer Barrie Brown argued that it was a ‘myth that any provider will be better than a PCT provider’.

He pointed to figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed that NHS productivity had grown by up to 1.6% a year.

‘Why should PCTs in England look outside the NHS to provide services that are delivered so effectively by themselves and their staff? I think we should be told,’ Mr Brown wrote.

Unite has launched a campaign, Health B4 Profit, to oppose further attempts to fragment and privatise the NHS in England.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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