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Health bosses refute claims of NHS privatisation in Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:43 05 October 2010

HEALTH chiefs were reassuring staff this week following claims they were considering plans to parcel health services off to a private provider. Unite announced last month it wanted to hold a ballot for staff at NHS Tower Hamlets over proposals to hive

HEALTH chiefs were reassuring staff this week following claims they were considering plans to parcel health services off to a private provider.

Unite announced last month it wanted to hold a ballot for staff at NHS Tower Hamlets over "proposals to hive off" community services to a social enterprise.

It later declared a "victory" as members claimed that health bosses had withdrawn their plans which they say would have seen all the out-of hospital services, including district nursing, health visiting, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, parcelled off to private companies.

But speaking at the NHS Tower Hamlets Board meeting last Thursday, Deputy Chief Executive Andrew Ridley said: "We are not proposing to privatise anything and we have no plans to establish a social enterprise.

"We are proposing the health service remains as they are. We would not propose a decision that would lead to staff leaving the NHS."

The Government has called for all primary care trusts to review the way its community services are provided.

Board members agreed last week that NHS Tower Hamlets would seek approval from the Department of Health to remain the Direct Provider Organisation which would mean little change in the way the services are provided.

But Mr Ridley added that if this request was rejected, the trust would be consulting with the East London Foundation Trust to deliver the services.


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