A few weeks ago NHS staff were praised as heroes, but now North West Anglia Foundation Trust want to sell us off to a new private employer.
In cleaning, catering, linen, patient services, porters, post room and security, we’ve been giving our all during the pandemic – and long before – but as thanks we face being thrown out of the NHS family.
Indeed, the Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke, Peterborough City and Stamford & Rutland hospitals, chose to tell us we could be sold off in the middle of the pandemic.
The Trust wants to outsource more than 70 of us, joining over 100 workers currently employed by three different private firms into one single contract.
Outsourcing is bad for staff – workers are paid less than their directly employed NHS colleagues, conditions are worse, standards are worse and morale will plummet.
And it’s bad for patients as well – private providers are responsible to their shareholders, not the public. Outsourcers are driven by getting a profit out of the contract, not providing patients with the best possible care and support.
There is plenty of academic research to show that hospitals with outsourced cleaning departments have lower standards of cleanliness than in-house services. This is particularly concerning given the ongoing threat from coronavirus and real possibility of future spikes.
We are calling on the Trust to stop this outsourcing immediately and keep us in the NHS.
Supported by our unions, UNISON and Unite, we are also calling on the Trust to reverse the existing privatisation of services across the three hospitals and bring everyone back under a single employer: the NHS.