YEP says: Privatising Leeds NHS Trust should have a health warning

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Leeds teaching hospitals NHS Trust has been warned against “sleepwalking” towards US-style privatisation by the city’s MPs who oppose plans to transfer more than 2,000 staff to an outside company.

The Trust says doing so will save money. The company will be owned and controlled by the NHS Trust, and the Trust says staff will be employed by the new company on their current terms and conditions.

But the MPs warned: “Assurances made in the here and now over pensions, working conditions and even the long-term trust ownership of the proposed subsidiary could be subject to change in future.”

The dispute has all the makings of a politically charged fall-out, not least because the threat of industrial action is already in the air.

Politics aside it’s not at all clear to the layman just how taking an integrated, publicly-funded, health service and turning it into a series of privately-run companies either saves money or improves the service.

The YEP welcomes the MPs’ intervention, and welcomes the Trust agreeing to an extended consultation period. They might want to start by looking at the latest report from Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on the financial management of some school academies - that should be a health warning to us all.