OPPOSITION TO CANCER CARE OUTSOURCING GROWS

John Palfreyman (Cheadle Labour) asking about the poor track record of private companies in the NHS.
John Palfreyman (Cheadle Labour) asking about the poor track record of private companies in the NHS.

The local branch of the Labour Party in Stone has unanimously passed a motion expressing concern at the proposed outsourcing of cancer care and end of live services in Staffordshire. In what could be the biggest outsourcing deal in NHS history, the four Staffordshire clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are tendering for a 10-year contract worth more than £1.2bn.

Sam Hale, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Stone has spoken about his reservations behind the contract.

“Caring for patients with cancer and providing end-of-life care for people with terminal illnesses is at the heart of what the National Health Service should be about as a public service. These are vital services that many of us will end up having to rely on – I find it disgraceful that private companies are being given the opportunity to make money out of people living with cancer. Under a privatised service, profit will inevitably be put before patients”.

The contract has been jointly offered by Cannock Chase, Stafford and Surrounds, North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent clinical commissioning groups. At least three private companies (Virgin Care, Care UK and Ramsay Health) have expressed an interest in the contracts so far.