Dewsbury Keep Our NHS Public, has launched a campaign and petition arguing against a move proposed by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which would be a new subsidiary Company owned by the Trust Board, in other words a privatisation. Dewsbury KONP urge the MYHT Board to follow the lead of Bristol’s Southmead Hospital Trust which has scrapped their plans.
The campaign group say ” any new company will potentially
move staff including cleaners, porters and catering staff not already employed by the PFI company (Public/Private Finance Initiative) into the new company under TUPE regulations. This will split the NHS team, potentially leaving staff feeling isolated and abandoned.
offer less favourable terms and conditions to new staff, creating a 2 tier workforce
create an extra tier of governance and management
potentially and unacceptably move buildings and estates from public, into private ownership at the stroke of a pen.
impact on patient experience through lower terms and conditions creating a transient workforce in the future.
Christine Hyde said “The move is likely to have been encouraged by management consultants considering that both Airedale and Harrogate Trusts have already set up a subsidiary company each and Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust has agreed to set one up too. CHFT, Airedale and Harrogate Trusts belong to the same West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT) as Mid Yorkshire. New research indicates that advice from management consultants make the NHS LESS not more efficient. We are keen to alert the Trust to such research and help them resist the enormous pressure they must be under through underfunding and relentless redisorganisation by the Government and NHS regulatory bodies. We urge the Trust not to dismantle the NHS in its 70th year.”.
Liz Twist MP has set up EDM 802 asking the government to block further attempts to set up these SubCos due to the likelihood of them being “short term fixes that will create further problems in the future”. Thelma Walker MP has signed it. Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust have not as of 22 March 2018, yet lodged their arms length company with Companies House.
John Grogan MP said of the development at Airedale which went live earlier in the year
“I’ve met Health Minister Philip Dunne to express concerns that if trusts throughout the country continue setting up subsidiary companies there’ll be a big loss of VAT revenue to the Exchequer, which could be used to fund NHS staff pay rises”.
Issues of tax avoidance in relation to these new private companies, have been raised in the Parliament and Stephen Barclay Minister of State (Health and Social Care said .. “the Department has been clear that the setting up of a subsidiary is not a vehicle to avoid VAT.”
David Honeybell said “It’s our NHS, funded by our taxes and NI contributions, and that’s how it must stay. We must not allow any part of our NHS to be sold off or transferred to any other body, who ever (sic) sets them up.
Jenifer Devlin said “The assets that will be transferred belong to us and the NHS. They must not be privatised”.
Paula Sherriff MP has been invited to comment but has yet to send a reply.
A copy of the letter to the Board can be found in the link.