Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Health Minister and MP for Denton & Reddish has joined with local residents and public service union, UNISON, to demand a halt to the creeping privatisation of local NHS services.
They have launched a campaign to stop the privatisation of the patient transport service within Greater Manchester following controversial news that the contract has recently been awarded to the ARRIVA Bus Company based purely on cost, even though the in-house service performed better on quality.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Ambulance services in Greater Manchester should be run by the Ambulance Service, not by a bus company. They are specialist services; it isn’t a matter of just transporting people about like a super taxi!”
“I am really concerned that this latest move is going to affect the quality of the service on offer as the private company starts to try and make profit by cutting corners. Those of us who are campaigning against this also believe it could well be the first signs of the creeping privatisation of our NHS, and a direct result of Cameron’s Health and Social Care Act, that was so bitterly opposed by so many. Our NHS should not be up for sale in this way.”
The service is provided currently by 375 staff directly employed by the NHS and provides non-urgent transport to and from hospital appointments for those with real medical needs. North West Ambulance Service undertakes over 2.3 million journeys every year. The service is also part of the resilience plan for emergency situations within the Greater Manchester area which is defined as a high risk area by central government.
You can join our campaign and sign the petition by clicking on the logo below: