Nottingham University Hospitals Trust have invited tenders from private companies to run the estates & facilities at QMC and City Hospitals. This means that services such as catering, cleaning and porters could be run by large multi national companies with no interest in the health of local people. UNISON believes that organisations motivated by patient need, not shareholder profit, are best placed to deliver safe quality services in our local hospitals.
I am writing to urge the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust to reconsider the decision to tender private companies to provide its estates & facilities services, and request that the provision of those services, at the Nottingham’s Queens Medical Centre and City Hospitals, be retained by the current providers; the in-house team.
The Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has invited tenders from private companies to manage the estates & facilities at the QMC and City Hospitals. Vital hospital services such as engineering & maintenance, catering, cleaning, switchboard, logistics and portering will potentially be managed by large multi-national private companies whose fiduciary responsibilities absolutely require them to put the interests of both the company and its shareholders above the interests of patients and staff.
The present in-house team, who have been rejected from the bidding process, and told they are considered incapable of progressing its services, have won numerous awards and accolades over the past decade for their performance and innovation in a wide variety of its fields, and the performance of the three surviving bidders is a matter of public record. Unlike the present in-house providers of these services, all three surviving bidders have been heavily fined for bid-rigging, two have illegally purchased illegal blacklisting information about staff, and between them have caused numerous disruptions to the smooth running of other hospitals, including 21 days of strikes at one hospital, caused patients to go hungry due to a catering blunder, attacked pay and conditions of hundreds of staff, failed to meet national hospital cleanliness standards, been involved in allegations of bullying and blackmailing of non-white staff, and losing thousands of patients’ records.
UNISON therefore believes that employing the services of these companies would be in direct conflict with the Trust’s values, and would not be conducive with the Trust’s visions of being 'The Best Acute Teaching Trust in the NHS, and 'The Best Employer in the NHS', by 2016, and that the Trust Board will be failing in its primary responsibility, to "ensure that the interests of patients remain paramount at all times", if these services are transferred to private companies. Organisations motivated by patient need, not shareholder profit, are best placed to deliver safe quality services in our local hospitals. UNISON also believes that local public services are not for a Trust Board of a public NHS hospital to outsource to private companies, that those services should remain within the public sector, and that the excellent award-winning services, faithfully provided by the in-house teams, should therefore be retained.