UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Tuesday 18 November

Foundation hospitals vote 'like Poll Tax in reverse' - UNISON

UNISON, Scotland's largest union, today added to the pressure on the Government on Foundation Hospitals, by writing to all Scots MPs urging them to vote against the government on this issue.

Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary said "No Scottish MP has a mandate to support Foundation Hospitals. Scotland's people voted overwhelmingly for parties opposed to such hospitals in the last Scottish election, The Scottish Government has no plans to introduce them in Scotland. It would be invidious if Scottish votes were used to impose this unpopular and divisive policy in England. Almost a Poll Tax situation in reverse."

Matt Smith's letter asks Scots MPs not to ignore the views of the Scottish people, and to ensure that they are not responsible for foisting a policy that is opposed both in Scotland and England onto the English. Matt points out that it could have damaging effects not only in England but back in Scotland.

"It is not only unfair to England for our Scots MPs to vote in favour of Foundation Hospitals." Matt said "It could have potential to impact on the finances Scotland gets via the Barnett formula, and further damage funding of Scotland's Health Service."

UNISON has been campaigning against the establishment of foundation hospitals which, the union says, will create a two-tier health service; lead to competition between hospitals, with staff being poached from one to another; and run down NHS capacity.

UNISON's General Secretary Dave Prentis, has also written to Labour MPs warning that this issue could lead to potential damage to the Labour Party at the next election. "The NHS is one of Labour's key electoral assets," Dave said "and is one of the most crucial issues on which the next election will be fought. By pursuing Foundation Trusts, we run the risk of forfeiting our opportunity to transform the NHS, and jeopardising Labour's reputation as custodians of the NHS."


Note to Editors - A copy of Matt Smith's letter is available from the contacts below, and on the UNISONScotland website from 17.00 Mon 17 Nov, at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/letter.html. Matt Smith will be available between 16.00 and 18.00 today(17) or by arrangement in London tomorrow for interviews. Other information on UNISON's position on foundation hospitals is on the UNISON UK website. UNISON's LabourLink committee has already written to Scottish CLPs also urging opposition to Foundation Hospitals.

For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) - 0845 355 0845(o) 07771 548 997(m) Dave Watson (Scottish Org - Policy & Info) - 0845 355 0845(o) 07787 558410(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)