Community fights to save NHS service from privatisation
(11/10/12) UNISON is backing a local community campaign to stop the privatisation of the patient transport service in Greater Manchester.
With the contract up for tender, the preferred bidder is currently the bus company ARRIVA.
But it’s understood that the choice was based purely on cost, since the in-house bid performed better on quality.
The service is currently provided by 375 staff who are directly employed by the NHS. It provides non-urgent transport to and from hospital appointments, for those with real medical needs.
The North West ambulance service makes over 2.3 million journeys every year.
UNISON’s Stockport branch secretary Angela Rayner said: “It is a disgrace that the winning bidder was not the provider with the highest standards, just the lowest cost.
“We believe this is the first step towards the wholesale privatisation of our NHS and that we must campaign to stop it,” she added.
“That’s why we’re urging everyone to stand up and march with us in London on 20 October, to show this Tory and Lib Dem government that the people’s NHS is not for sale.
You can sign the petition to save the Greater Manchester patient transport service here.