Cornwall MP Stephen Gilbert calls for end to cartel that is bullying staff into accepted reduced terms and conditions

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A Cornwall MP has asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate whether the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has broken the rules governing the NHS by joining the NHS pay cartel.

Stephen Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell & Newquay, said: “The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and the other health trusts across the south west in this cartel wants to have their cake and eat it. The so-called “consortium” is hiding behind the NHS badge while riding roughshod over national NHS pay and conditions.

“They are claiming rights as autonomous, independent providers but they are then colluding together as a cartel to fix terms and conditions and their wage costs.

“I believe that this is a potentially illegal cartel and I have asked the OFT to investigate whether what these trusts are doing is within the rules of the NHS.

“These NHS Trusts do not have public, patient or political support for the efforts they are making to bully staff into accepting reduced terms and conditions. They need to end this cartel arrangement, drop their plans to impose regional pay and get back around the national negotiating table.

“The consortia cannot pretend to be the NHS when it suits them and independent providers when they it doesn’t. I think this cartel has a case to answer which is why we are referring them to the OFT.”

Earlier this morning, one of the trusts pulled out of the cartel.


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