Lilian Greenwood has hit out at a decision by NUHT chiefs to privatise the Estates and Facilities department at QMC and City Hospital. The decision has been taken in the face of public concern about the impact on service quality and a long campaign by the city’s MPs and UNISON to get the Trust to reconsider its controversial plans. Wolverhampton-based Carillion will now provide services including cleaning, maintenance and catering services in the City’s two main hospitals.
Ms Greenwood is deeply concerned that Carillion will not be able to match the high level of care currently delivered by the Trust’s Estates and Facilities department – the Post only this week ran a story on the City’s hospitals catering service setting the standard nationally for local and organic food sourcing.
Speaking after learning of the announcement Lilian said:
“I have very deep concerns about this decision.
“Despite promises to protect our hospitals, the Tory-led coalition has constantly targeted the NHS budget, clawing back what they’ve labelled as “underspends”, and forcing our local hospitals to make cuts like these.
“Caring for patients should come first and that’s why I believe the NHS should be kept as a public service and not run for private profit, but today the creeping privatisation of NHS services took a significant step forward.
“Patients, nurses and doctors have all told me they’re worried that a private contractor simply won’t be able to match the high level of care delivered by the Trust’s in-house Estates and Facilities team.
“Only this week I was reading the Post’s feature on NUHT’s award winning catering services yet these services are now being handed over to Carillion. I want to ensure that patients in Nottingham receive the best possible care in our hospitals and that staff are properly valued and rewarded.
“I will be seeking an urgent meeting with NUHT and Carillion in order to seek guarantees that standards are maintained and improved.”