THE “biggest act of privatisation the NHS has ever seen” is underway, Labour claimed yesterday – revealing almost 400 community services are up for grabs.
The party released a dossier listing contracts worth £250m which will be signed from this week, including across Merseyside and Warrington.
The move, condemned as “reckless” by Andy Burnham, pictured, Labour’s health spokesman, follows the passing of the controversial Health Act, which will hand more services to private bidders. Across Merseyside and Halton, three services are out to tender worth over £2m – podiatry (£1.2m), musculoskeletal treatment (£588,562) and adult hearing aids (£266,000).
In Wirral, three further contracts are up for grabs – non-obstetric ultrasound (£1m), community physiotherapy services (£1.5m) and wheelchair procurement (value unknown).
In Warrington, community continence services will be tendered, Labour’s Freedom of Information requests to soon-to-be-scrapped primary care trusts (PCTs) revealed.
Mr Burnham told Labour’s conference in Manchester: “Be warned – [David] Cameron’s great NHS carve-up is coming to your community.
“As we speak, contracts are being signed in the single biggest act of privatisation the NHS has ever seen.”