Unions line up to oppose NHS reform at TUC Congress

Motions oppose the 'any qualified provider' model, which would allow charities and private companies to provide services

NHS reforms will impact sector
NHS reforms will impact sector

Trades unions are preparing to step up their opposition to charities and private companies being allowed to run NHS services.

Next week’s TUC Congress in London includes several motions criticising the government’s Heath and Social Care Bill, which is before parliament.

One motion, proposed by Unison, says congress "deplores the bill that will break up the NHS and put profit ahead of patients".

It calls for unions to "strive to work with patients and charities to strengthen our case".

Another motion, proposed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, says the government’s ‘any qualified provider’ model, which allows voluntary and private sector organisations to bid to run NHS services, will "take the NHS down the road of a fully blown market".

A Unison spokeswoman said it would be lobbying peers about the bill in the run-up to a debate in the House of Lords this autumn.

"Charities are spending a lot of time bidding for contracts to run services, which is completely different from how they have operated in the past and how they want to operate," she said. "They are being caught up in this process."

Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of charity leaders group Acevo, which supports charities providing more public services, said: "These are anti-sector motions, which put the interests of providers above those of patients and citizens, which for the third sector are our top priorities.

"Any qualified provider means the third sector can expand its work in providing patient and citizen-focused services."

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