Statements from Staff on NHS Gloucestershire's proposals to move local health services out of the NHS

Wednesday, 07 December 2011 10:10
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This is a page where we will publish statements from staff so they are able comment publicly but anonymously on NHS Gloucestershire's plans to transfer over 3000 staff, 9 community hospitals, 10 health clinics and a number of county-wide health services to Gloucestershire Care Services Community Interest Company, on the consultation process, and on the legal challenge that SATC is supporting to stop the transfer. We invite members of staff to send us anything from short statements to long testimony regarding these issues. Please email any statements or queries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , a supporter of the campaign who is an member of NHS staff and union member, or send via post to: Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public, c/o SATC, The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud, GL5 1DF.

We are also looking into how we can create a space on the website where anonymous comments can be uploaded.

 

Statements Received:

1. "I am a 'bank' community staff nurse working for NHS gloucestershire. I am pleased that there is hope that the social enterprise could be stopped. The social enterprise is in my view definately underhand and money driven. My new social enterprise contract amounts to a a pay cut of over £4,000 annually based on a 37.5 hour week. I am incredulous. I am NHS, I wear an NHS uniform. I am an NHS nurse bitterly disappointed with changing to social enterprise. NHS Gloucestershire claim that they "will retain the same staff, buildings and clinics" and that "Staff transferring into the new organisation will recieve the same terms and conditions". But not for 'bank' nurses in the NHS." (NHS employee, Gloucestershire, via email)

2. "The one thing that the NHS has always enjoyed is the fact that its staff have a great pride in what they do, and the fact that they do it for the common good. Everyone I have spoken to, my own staff, my peers and my managers all agree that the NHS is where they have wanted to work and where they would like to continue working. No-one sees the transfer to a CIC as anything but a not particularly subtle way of privatising the largest health provider in Gloucestershire. The real tragedy, as far as I am concerned, is the fact that so few members of the public realise it. Unless something drastic happens in the near future, more than half of all the health provision in Gloucestershire will be in the hands of a private enterprise. Although the change may appear seamless at first, despite political remonstrations to the contrary at some time the CIC will become vulnerable, and the threat to its services and to the people who depend on them will become only too apparent. This will almost certainly occur when it's too late to do anything about it." (NHS employee, Gloucestershire, via email)

3. "As a member of NHS Gloucestershire staff, I am pleased to hear that Stroud Against the Cuts has successfully delayed the transfer to Social Enterprise. I have no wish to see any of our hospitals or services taken out of the NHS. I believe the local people will suffer if we lose the NHS status and that it leaves the services open to privatisation in a big way. The management of Gloucestershire Care Service CIC seem to imply that all the staff are looking forward to the transfer but as there was no consultation about these change's I do not know where they are getting the impression that the staff are for this change into the private sector. Thank You Stroud Against the Cuts for putting up a fight for the local people and the staff that work in the services. Another thing I am really worried about is the GP's becoming accountants I feel at the moment if a doctor tells a person they do not need to see a consultant we believe them but in the future can we be sure? It may be because they don't want to use their budget or that they have no money left, all this will cost lives. 
I am proud to work in the NHS.  It is what makes Britain Great.
This is our NHS - we want to keep it public." (NHS employee, Gloucestershire, via email)

4. "Dear Readers, Like most healthcare workers I became a nurse because society has a moral obligation to provide healthcare to all based on need alone, I did not become a nurse to provide investors with profits and will refuse to let my work,or own healthcare needs be exploited by investors, which make no mistake is the intended outcome of this transfer from NHS to Social Enterprise. Healthcare must be owned and available to all it is the only civilised way. The lack of consultation is a disgrace, Thankyou Michael Lloyd and S.A.T.C. We won't give up." (NHS employee, Gloucestershire, via email)

5. "I have just left the above Trust [NHS Gloucestershire] after working in the same role for 10 years and am disgusted at their proposals. They are making staff who have dedicatedly provided excellent service to our patients apply for their own jobs, some staff they are even saying that they cannot apply with no logical reasons for this.  These are staff who have done this job for decades in some cases and have never had poor appraisals or reviews. The problem with this PCT is that they look after their own. It is about time that the funds for providing care for our patients were put in at the bottom of the structure, making sure that staff who deliver this care on the front line and their immediate managers were funded and then cuts made through the vast amount of tiers above when the money runs out.  This trust are cutting valuable front line staff and not valuing the service and experience they provide.  Patients will suffer in the long run, the hospital is losing valuable dedicated staff daily and at this rate the Trust will not have a work force capable of running the service. I thought the government were going to cut bureaucracy as stated in the ‘white paper’ but this isn’t happening.  This Trust are rushing towards social enterprise to make sure that this top heavy management structure can still keep control.  I went to the original meetings where ‘choice’ was not given, they had already made up their mind that social enterprise was the best route for them, staff and patients don’t come into it.  If the GP consortium’s are going to take over in 2013 we should wait until then to see what is required instead of running along into a dead end with no chance of a ‘u’ turn.  This Trust has wasted so much money on IT systems that are not fit for purpose, land purchase that was extremely overpriced, plans for new hospital and reduction of bed space when we are meant to be joining a competitive market.  Their decisions do not make sense and I fear that there is a hidden agenda." (former NHS Gloucestershire employee, received via email)

 

 

6. "I really didnt want to do this at first but after yet another management briefing (e-bulletin) telling us all how the legal challenge will open us up to privatisation and how we cannot be in the NHS, I felt I had to write. I attended the Wendy Savage talk and I heard the lawyer talking about the local health services. She was very clear. She stated that a judge cannot decide what the PCT does, he can only ensure the law is not broken. In effect, if the campainers win, any competitive tendering wil be the CHOICE of the management. This is because they do not have to put us up for competition if they choose an NHS option. She said that we can be a community NHS trust because the only stopping them was that the Dept of Health dont want it - so it not law preventing them. The only stopping them from letting us be a community trust is a lack of back bone.  They also told us before that we cannot be with the acute trust because jobs will be lost. It hasn't happened in South Glos though. Only reduced numbers of offices, not reduced jobs. If we become a 'social enterprise' (which a CIC is not very close to) I will look for work elsewhere and I have colleagues who have said the same." (NHS Gloucestershire employee and Unite member, via email.

Statements from elsewhere:

 

"We were never consulted on any choice. They made it very clear that the social enterprise was the only option. Even now my colleagues know very little about it." (NHS Nurse, cited in Guardian.co.uk article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-network/2011/oct/05/nhs-gloucestershire-community-interest-company-transfer?newsfeed=true)