Fighting against privatisation of public services was an important discussion for delegates (July 12) who believed that the process was “often not transparent nor meaningful. The consultation fails to engage key stakeholders and the wider public. We believe that the decisions to award tenders are based on dubious evidence and highly questionable consultations.”
The composite that was carried called on Unite to raise awareness of these issues and to challenge the relevant commissioning bodies on transparency and public accountability.
Simon O’Keeffe, an NHS administrator from the West Midlands said, “It’s heart breaking to tell patients you don’t qualify for a particular service because that service contract has been cut. It’s all designed to make privatisation easier.
“We need to defend our public services. We need to use our voice to keep public services publicly funded and put pressure on MPs to support this.”
Yorkshire ambulance worker Debbie Wilkinson said, “The speed with which private companies are taking over services is frightening. On a daily basis in Leeds 50 per cent of ambulances are run by private companies. It’s a postcode lottery if you get experienced NHS crew or unqualified private staff.
“Public services should be accountable to the public they service. The NHS should not just be the preferred provider – it should be the only provider.”
Alan Dobbie (pictured), who works at North Middlesex Hospital said, “It’s a poor management who don’t listen to people, who think money comes before patients. Staff feel demoralised – we need strong unions and a strong Labour Party.
Irene Clark from Scotland said “We’re patients not customers,” and health visitor Suzanne Lowe was concerned on the effects such privatisation has on children.
“Children should always be seen and heard – and they’re falling into a gap in funding. My families get less funding as services are commissioned by local authorities. The quality of services depend on where you live. They talk about integration but just means service spread more thinly.
“We know early intervention works. Health shouldn’t be prioritised differently based on where you live. We must demand our funding back – families deserve it.”