NHS Gloucestershire votes to set up new trust for community hospitals
CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating a major U-turn which will keep £400million-worth of NHS services in the public sector.
Today NHS Gloucestershire’s board voted unanimously to establish a new National Health Service trust to run nine community hospitals and 3,000 NHS staff following a legal challenge from Stroud pensioner Michael Lloyd.
If the establishment of a not-for-profit firm to run those services went ahead, campaigners in Stroud feared it would lead to many services being privatised.
After an overwhelming response from staff and the public, and the go-ahead to found a new NHS trust to run the services, NHS Gloucestershire changed tack and cleared the way for that to happen.
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Until May this year, NHS Gloucestershire didn’t have the option to seek setting up a new NHS Trust, and wanted its provider staff in Gloucestershire Care Services to transfer to a not for profit company.
The other option the board of NHS Gloucestershire and NHS Swindon considered was putting the services out for private tender – something Stroud Labour party and Stroud Against the Cuts feared would open a back door to privatisation of the NHS.
For reaction to this development, see tomorrow’s Citizen.