Strategic Health Authority/Department of Health
United Kingdom

The management of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon is threatened with privatisation. Three companies are in the running to take over the hospital from May 2011 - Serco, Ramsay Health and Circle Health. None of them have experience of running a hospital on the scale of Hinchingbrooke.

The move sets a dangerous precedent for the future of the NHS with the possibility of many more hospitals in similar financial situation moving in the same direction. This would see a fundamental change in how NHS hospitals are run and could well be a precursor for the break up of the NHS as we know it.

Privatisation means putting profit before people and has no place in the NHS. As services such as A&E and Maternity fail to offer a profit, then we fear that these services could be under threat.

The NHS was founded in 1948 on the principle of delivering free health care to all, regardless of background and where people live. It is these principles that NHS workers and service users value and have fought hard to protect with the introduction of the market and creeping privatisation through profit making Independent Sector Treatment Sectors.

The proposed franchising of Hinchingbrooke Hospital to private companies goes against the founding principles of the NHS and sets a dangerous precedent for the future of healthcare provision in the UK. In many ways, Hinchingbrooke Hospital has become a fight for the soul of the NHS. If the plans go ahead, Hinchingbrooke Hospital would become the first NHS hospital to be run by the private sector. This could well be a testing ground with many NHS health providers following suit and could lead to the break up of the NHS as we know it.

Privatisation inevitably leads to cuts in services and poorer quality as has been seen in railways and other former public services, as private companies put profit ahead of service delivery and safety

We the undersigned oppose the privatisation of Hinchingbrooke Hospital and support the founding principles of the NHS. We believe in a publicly funded, publiclly owned and publicy operated NHS and call on the Department of Health to step in and ensure that Hinchingbrooke Hospital is not handed over to the profit makers from the private sector.

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The Hands Off Hinchingbrooke petition to Strategic Health Authority/Department of Health was written by Steve Sweeney and is in the category Health at GoPetition.