Gloucestershire NHS leaders set to make £400m decision
NATIONAL Health Service leaders have been challenged to keep £400million-worth of services in the public sector after a massive public response.
Some 96% of 2,500 people called on NHS Gloucestershire to re-think plans for a not-for-profit firm to run nine community hospitals and 3,000 NHS staff after a legal challenge from Stroud pensioner Michael Lloyd.
And on Monday board members will decide whether to side with public opinion after the way was cleared to consider establishing a new NHS trust to run the services.
The other option the board of NHS Gloucestershire and NHS Swindon face is to put the services out for private tender - something Stroud Against the Cuts and other campaigners feared would open a back door to privatisation of the NHS.
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Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Stroud, David Drew said: "The public voted overwhelmingly for option one (for a new NHS trust), this follows on from a similar vote by staff.
"Credit must be given to all those campaigners from across the county and political spectrum, who have fought to keep the services in the NHS.
"I am proud to be part of a campaign that has stood up to national and local bureaucrats against all odds, I trust the board will follow the lead given to them by the public."
The services are worth £400million over three years and NHS Gloucestershire chief executive Jan Stubbings said: "The people of Gloucestershire deserve the best possible NHS services and we are committed to making sure they receive these in the coming years.
"Whoever runs the community health services in the future has to be able to meet the needs of local people, provide safe, high quality care and treatment and make the most of the money and resources available.
"Board members understand that they have an important responsibility to consider the options very carefully."