05:00PM, Thursday 22 August 2019
Further protests took place this week against ‘privatisation’ plans for hospitals run by the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
The trust, which runs Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, and Heatherwood Hospital, Ascot, is planning to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary to run some non-clinical support services.
Protesters voiced opposition to the plans outside Wexham Park last month.
They claim the move will create a ‘two-tier workforce’, leaving staff in certain roles, including housekeeping and security, working under different terms and conditions to other NHS staff.
Three more demonstrations have been called, the first of which took place at Wexham Park on Wednesday.
Asia Allison, of the GMB trade union, which organised the action, said: “Our members and concerned staff have said they wish to raise their objections to being privatised.
“These three demos are just the start of the fight to protect NHS workers from future exploitation.”
After the protest, a meeting took place at the hospital where the trust provided an update to staff on its plans.
A spokesman for the trust said: “Any plans the trust agrees would need to be assessed and approved by NHS Improvement before they could be implemented.
“During the process the trust would continue to talk and listen to staff and to notify them of any significant developments.
“About 40 NHS trusts have already established their own wholly owned subsidiary companies.
“They protect jobs while keeping essential services in house, delivering better outcomes more efficiently than outsourcing.”
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