WE are writing as representatives of the patients, doctors and nurses at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to say how appalled we are by Unison’s latest attack on Circle and our local hospital.
We agree completely with your comment article in last week's edition, and won't stand for Unison treating our hospital like a political football. We believe it is deeply irresponsible to scare people with claims about the potential closure of their local hospital without any concrete evidence. In fact, it's well known that the 10-year contract with Circle has saved Hinchingbrooke from being downgraded or closed.
It is worth remembering that Unison used to argue that Circle wouldn't be able to run A&E or maternity services. This week we heard that Hinchingbrooke is currently the top performing A&E department in the whole country. Our maternity services also have the highest possible quality ranking. Unison also used to claim that Circle would put profits before patients, yet Circle has focused first on investing to fix quality for patients. This year they won't take a penny of profit, and will contribute £3.7million to get the hospital to break-even.
Neither Circle nor Hinchingbrooke are perfect, but we know they are doing their best for local patients and taxpayers. Circle hasn't taken the slash and burn approach that was feared from the private sector, and there have been real improvements in patient care under their model of clinical leadership and employee engagement.
Everyone is entitled to their own views on the role of the private sector in delivering public services, but as The Hunts Post pointed out, this contract has already happened. We urge Hunts Post readers to ignore Unison's political games, and get behind our efforts to deliver the best possible care for the people of Huntingdon.
(Patient representative group)