BMA warns of 'backdoor privatisation' of Hull's GP services

Primary care services in Hull are being 'privatised through the back door', the BMA has warned.

NHS Hull is converting its provider arm into a commercial company, provisionally known as the City Health Care Partnership Community Interest Company (CIC).

The company will be owned by its staff, and will ‘re-invest’ any profits in health services or in the wider community. It will run services including several local GP practices and the local out-of-hours service.

But, despite the fact that staff will be shareholders, a trade union survey found that 90% of staff had no idea that the move was happening.

A BMA spokesman said the PCT had been ‘very unclear’ about what would happen to the company's profits. ‘Its intention is to put that profit back into the community, but it's not given us any detail on how that’ll work.’

He added that the trust had ‘misled its staff into thinking it's just another NHS merger, when what's happening is the services are moving out of the NHS’.

The PCT says that all staff that transfer over to the new company will retain their NHS pension.

But current rules mean that new staff will not be eligible for it, raising the spectre of a two-tier workforce.

A PCT spokeswoman said: ‘City Health Care Partnership will be an independent organisation that is underpinned by strong social purpose and organisational values.’

She added that the trade union that conducted the survey had only asked its own members. ‘This is not 90% of the total staff,’ she added.

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