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CSP urges trust to show transparency over possible franchise

The CSP and other health unions are calling on Weston Area Health NHS Trust in Somerset to be more transparent about its procurement plans.

They fear the trust could end up being run by the private sector under a ‘franchise’ model, similar to Cambridgeshire’s controversial Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

In a letter to the chief executive, regional officers of the health unions wrote that ‘the trust lacks sufficient transparency’ and that despite briefings on the procurement project, staff were worried they were not being kept fully informed of plans.

The unions are calling for more disclosure, on the basis that other trusts contemplating similar new management arrangements are being more ‘open’.

‘It is imperative that the trust takes our members and other staff with it in this venture and that information is crucial to that,’ said Andy Ballard, senior negotiating officer for the CSP.

The unions want to know which organisations have expressed an interest, when the tender document will be published, and whether local unions will have an opportunity to comment on the tender document.

They also want answers to other questions relating to consultation procedures and final approval of the procurement process.

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