NHS constitution should not be 'smokescreen' for privatisation

The NHS constitution should not become 'a smokescreen' for further privatisation of the NHS, according to nurses' union Unite.

David Fleming, Unite national officer for health, said: ‘Unite remains wary about the government's continued obsession with privatisation of the NHS and we would not like the fine words and elegant phrases embedded in the constitution to be used as a smokescreen for private companies to take a larger slice of NHS services.

‘The constitution enshrines further involvement of private and third sector organisations in the delivery of NHS services [which would lead to] privatisation.

‘But at the same time, the constitution seeks to enshrine the efficient and best use of resources - however it is now evident that marketisation and privatisation are not the best use of such resources. Private Finance Initiatives, for example, are wasteful.

‘There is, therefore, a glaring contradiction in the constitution as to what it hopes to achieve. We will be raising these apparent contradictions with ministers.'


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