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12 July 2012
Government and the Administrator must listen to the thousands of staff who have signed GMB's petition for a bailout to be provided to the Trust as it cannot be right that we are prepared to bail out the banks but not our NHS says GMB
GMB, the union for health workers, commented on the announcement that Government intends to press ahead with plans to appoint an administrator to take over the day to day running of South London NHS Healthcare Trust. (See letter from Chief Executive in notes).
GMB is calling on the Secretary of State and the Administrator to ensure the interests of patients and staff are put first.
The Trust, which has struggled with debt since its inception, will now become the first NHS Trust in history to be placed into administration in accordance with the NHS 'Special Measures scheme'. The decision means that the Trust's board will be suspended and all executive functions will be taken over by the Administrator.
The Administrator will enter a 45 day consultation as to the best way forward for the Trust, which may include the closure, privatisation or merger of services. Following the consultation the Administrator will produce a report for the Secretary of State who will make a decision as to the Trust's Future.
In carrying out the consultation, the Administrator must abide by 5 key principles, which are included in the statutory guidance for NHS Administrators. (See note 1). Principle 1 is that Patients needs must always come first and Principle 4 is that staff should be engaged in the process.
In accordance with these principles GMB believes that the Government must provide funding to bail out the Trust from its financial difficulties and ensure that patients are protected. The Trust has never had the opportunity to succeed as a result of crippling level of PFI debt owed to companies such as Semperion, and it cannot be right that the Government is prepared to bailout the banks but not the NHS.
Rob Macey, GMB Senior Organiser, said: 'The NHS special measures regime states that the interests of patients must come first. Proposals to close or privatise services would mean dramatic cuts to the availability and quality of services available to patients.
We are calling on the Government and the Administrator to listen to the thousands of staff who have signed GMB's petition for a bailout to be provided to the Trust. It cannot be right that we are prepared to bail out the banks but not our NHS.'
Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP, Member of Parliament for Greenwich & Woolwich said:
“That Andrew Lansley intends to push ahead with plans which may have a disastrous impact on the healthcare of local people of Southeast London, without discussing it with their elected representatives, is totally unacceptable”.