UNISON and Healthcare

UNISON is the UK's largest healthcare trade union - over 400,000 people who work in the NHS and for private contractors providing NHS services are UNISON members.

Our health members are nurses, student nurses, midwives, health visitors, healthcare assistants, paramedics, cleaners, porters, catering staff, medical secretaries, clerical and admin staff and scientific and technical staff.

We represent our members in many ways, offering help and advice at work, raising your professional/local concerns or by highlighting issues that will affect all health workers at a national level. We work together to make sure our members' concerns are heard - whether itis about pay, health and safety, discrimination or the future of our NHS.

Looking after the NHS

But there is more to UNISON than looking after people at work. We care passionately about the future of the NHS as a publicly funded service that is free at the point of delivery. Here in the region that makes campaigning to stop the increasing involvement of the private sector in the provision of health care services a priority for us. 

The Future of Bedford Hospital Services  

You may already be aware of the Bedford Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) announcement in August 2013 to bring in a private sector led consortium, headed by Circle Health, to take over the provision of the musculoskeletal service, a 5yr £120m contract, part of which is Horizon Health Choices a company run by 25 north Bedfordshire GP practices. The consortium will not only be managing the budget, but will also be setting the threshold for access to services and delivering and resourcing services. 

It is unclear what plans if any BCCG has to monitor the services provided under the new contract, and with existing NHS services being effectively replaced by private providers, we are left to guess what options BCCG might have to intervene in the event of service failure, or serious complaints, over quality of care. Download bedfordshire NHS trust

So how can I have my say?  

This review will have far reaching implications on the future of Bedford Hospital and the valuable services it delivers. If people don’t make their views heard now this could have serious consequences for the future healthcare provision in Bedfordshire. 

Therefore UNISON is holding a Public Meeting followed by a series of satellite meetings. We would like to invite you to come along to have your say and express your views.

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