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Chesterfield hospital privatisation plans
Elaine Evans, Chesterfield Socialist Party
Chesterfield Royal Hospital is going ahead with plans to introduce a wholly owned subsidiary company - Derbyshire Support and Facilitates Services.
This will mean that 700-800 staff in the IT procurement, clinical engineering estates and facilities will be pushed out of the NHS, leading to a two-tiered workforce with staff being paid lower wages and pensions.
This privatisation will lead to experienced and caring staff leaving which will impact on patient care.
The number of health professionals leaving the NHS has tripled in the last seven years with many citing a poor work-life balance, stress within the workplace and low wages.
We should not be losing trained nurses and vital staff to supermarkets because wages in the NHS are so low that people are unable to support themselves or their families and are forced to turn to food banks for assistance.
The NHS is treating more people than ever and increasingly sophisticated treatments and advancements in healthcare are well beyond most people's individual earnings.
We pay for the NHS through general taxation and national insurance when we are able to - so that it is there for whenever any of us need it. Privatising services for profit or to save money will affect us all. We need health services that are properly funded with staff well paid for their hard work, care, expertise and dedication.
There have been strikes and campaigns against outsourcing via wholly owned subsidiaries at hospital trusts in Yorkshire which have forced delays or abandonment of the plans. A trade union-led campaign is needed in Chesterfield to fight the plans and protect jobs, wages and conditions.
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