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
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)