Union joins condemnation of plans to privatise the NHS, saying its members rely on high quality care


UCATT is calling on its members and all construction workers to oppose the government’s Health and Social Care Bill, which will lead to the effective privatisation of much of the NHS.

The union is concerned that if it becomes law, the Bill will result in the NHS being segregated into commissioning groups which will compete against each other, rather than provide a joined up service. The commissioning groups will be encouraged to use private companies to provide services. The government plans to remove the private patient income cap, which will allow hospitals to treat a far higher number of private patients. This will result in private patients jumping the queue, while NHS patients will have to wait longer for operations and treatment.

General Secretary Steve Murphy said: “Construction workers and their families rely on the NHS. When they are ill they want to be treated locally as swiftly as possible. The government’s policies will reduce patient care, while boosting the profits of fat cat private healthcare companies.”

UCATT are calling on construction workers to sign the e-petition opposing the government’s plans. The union represents some NHS workers, predominantly those involved in the maintenance and repair of the organisation’s infrastructure. The government admits that its Bill will result in 20,000 NHS staff losing their jobs which will have a major impact on patient care. The desire to increase private sector activity in the NHS is likely to increase the level of outsourcing.

Steve Murphy said: “UCATT understands what outsourcing means. It means fewer staff, having to do more, resulting in a poorer service and at the same time costs are increased. Resources for the NHS should be spent on patients and not go to privateers.”

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