NHS Logistics 'to continue privatisation fight'
21 September 2006 00:00 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
NHS Logistics staff will continue to fight the government's decision to transfer its responsibilities to DHL, a German parcel delivery company, according to a union leader.
Staff of the health service's supply arm have planned two 24-hour strikes in protest at the decision - the first NHS strike in several years.
The government claims that the decision will save the health service one billion pounds over ten years, while currently-employed staff would be offered comparable terms under the new arrangements.
However, Dave Prentis, leader of Unison, said he had "no idea" where the government got its one billion pound figure from, adding that the union doubted that transferring responsibility to DHL would save any money at all.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "In future DHL will merely deliver to the hospital gates and then you'll have to set up distribution services all over the NHS to deliver those goods - it will be a far worse service for patients."
The government should not be treating well-performing staff in such a way, Mr Prentis concluded.
Unison has sought a judicial review into the government's decision to try and stop the transfer.
The forthcoming strikes will coincide with the annual Labour Party Conference, which will be Tony Blair's last as leader.
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