Health campaigners plan ‘privatisation’ protest in Cambridge

09:44 06 January 2014

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Campaigners are planning to lobby a health meeting, protesting against what it considers the privatisation of older people’s services in Cambridgeshire.

They will attend tomorrow’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, which will be held at the Masonic Hall in Bateman Street, Cambridge, at 2pm.

The clinical commissioning group has put up to £800million of older people’s services out to tender. It hopes to find one or more “lead provider” to co-ordinate older people’s services.

Ten bidders are in the running to win the tender, with the new contract expected to start in July.

The lobby is being organised by Stop the NHS Sell-Off in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, a campaign group run by a range of organisations, trade unions and individuals.

A campaign spokesman said: “We have collected thousands of signatures on petitions from people saying they do not want their NHS handed over to private companies.

“We call on as many people as possible to support us in lobbying the clinical commissioning group next Tuesday, to tell them that the people of this county want our health services kept public.”

Dr Arnold Fertig, clinical lead for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group’s older people’s programme, said: “There is a mix of named NHS and private providers bidding in the procurement process. This process is about getting the best possible health services for older people and providing them in joined-up and innovative ways.

“The intention is that older people will experience a much better service than what is currently being offered. We are following a legally agreed procurement process.”

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