On 1st October 2013 Lewisham hospital merged with Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, to form the Lewisham and Greenwich Hospital Trust. This Trust inherits all the debts of QEH which originally threatened the survival of Lewisham hospital, and financial problems persist.
Now the new Trust has signed a £200m deal with SERCO to run the Trust’s procurement department. That is, a company, which itself might hope to benefit from any procurement deals, is to run the procurement department itself.
Private contractors and private profit have no place in a publicly-paid for health service and there is no public mandate for the outsourcing and privatisation which has been proceeding within the NHS over the last 20 years.
Serco in particular has an appalling record. It has just agreed to the early termination of its out of hours GP contract in Cornwall after the company left the county short of doctors. They are at the centre of fraud allegations regarding the way they charged the government fort electronic tagging. They have been barred from bidding for state contracts by the Cabinet Office pending a review.
Please sign the petition started by the GMB union which represents some of the workers whose jobs would be affected at: http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-serxco-out-of-lewisham-and-greenwich-nhs-trust
While we were painting this slogan in Sydenham many passers by stopped to sign the paper copy of the petition which will be given in at the February meeting of the Trust's Board. You can download a copy to take round your friends, neighbours and workmates: Serco Petition
For an overview of the scale of SERCO's operations see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serco_Group