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Assurances received for dialysis staff

 
Created on 12/06/2018 @ 09:25
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Assurances have been given that staff at the dialysis unit in Welshpool Victoria Memorial Hospital will not be forced to transfer to private renal services providers.

Nurses based in Welshpool, along with those at Wrexham, Bangor, and Porthmadog, feared being transferred from the NHS to a private company under a tendering process by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUH), which runs health care in North Wales.
Independent Welshpool County Councillor Graham Breeze and Plaid Cymru joined forces last month to oppose plans to privatise the nursing jobs.

Now Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, and Gary Doherty, Chief Executive of BCUH have sent written assurances that no jobs will be transferred.

In a letter to Councillor Breeze Mr Gething said: “Healthcare for the people of Wales is comprehensive, universal and free at the point of access and we will not be privatising the NHS. I will be writing to the nursing staff of the Welshpool unit directly.

“The expansion and improvement of the NHS renal services in Wales has been a success for staff and patients and provided excellent value for money.

“Welsh Government’s long established policy position is we will not support the transfer of staff between the NHS and independent renal services providers.”

Mr Gething said the success of the service in Wales was as a result of collaboration arrangements between NHS and independent service providers.

“Wales has a long history of contracting with independent providers for renal services, the first contracts awarded over 20 years ago. These arrangements have never led to a requirement for NHS staff to transfer to an independent provider of renal dialysis services,” he added.”

Mr Doherty wrote: “With the support of the Welsh Renal Clinical Network we are currently engaged in a competitive tender process with service providers for chronic haemodialysis (dialysis) services. No decision has yet been made as dialogue is still ongoing.

“Wales leads the UK in terms of access to high quality and sustainable dialysis facilities. This success is, in part, as a result of the collaborative arrangements between NHS and independent service providers (ISPs).

“I fully understand that this has raised concerns amongst staff and patients and we have worked to engage patient representatives, trade unions and staff representatives in the review.

“The outcome of the review is not yet finalised but I can confirm that the Health Board will not support an option that requires the transfer of staff from the NHS to independent renal services providers.”

Councillor Breeze welcomed the replies. “I welcome the responses from both the Health Secretary and the Health Board and in particular Mr Gethin’s promise to write to the staff at the Welshpool unit with assurances on their futures.

“This is a particularly worrying time for all the staff involved and they deserve to have been kept better informed when their jobs are being discussed.”

 

 

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