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Date: Monday 3 Mar 2008

Staff from first Scottish Health PFI make welcome return to NHS

Staff whose jobs were privatised back in 1998 after the then Tory government introduced the controversial Private Finance Initiative, are to return to working for the NHS in Stonehaven today.

The staff, who work in jobs that were sold off to the private company Care UK when the new Kincardine Community Hospital was built as an early PFI will be welcomed back by UNISON to the NHS in a short celebration, which will take place at 10.30am, restaurant area, Kincardine Community Hospital, Kirkton Road, Stonehaven, AB39 2NJ.

The original PFI was developed to build the new hospital to replace Arduthie and Woodcot hospitals and the services were provided by a consortium including the (then) NHS Trust and a private sector provider, (Community Health Services, now Care UK).

Many other staff continued to be employed by the NHS. On Monday 3rd of February the staff whose jobs were outsourced, will come back to the NHS. The staff will benefit by returning to NHS conditions which means better terms and conditions, access to pension scheme etc.

UNISON's Grampian Health Branch Chair, Sandra-Dee Masson said "It is great that these staff are coming back to re-join the healthcare team after 10 years of having to deal with the problems created by PFI. The staff concerned are delighted to be rejoining the NHS in its 60th year and UNISON is pleased that after many years of campaigning, the first PFI in Scotland has come back, at least partly, into public ownership."

Julie McPherson, one of the staff who is returning to the NHS said "We are happy to be moving back to work within the NHS. The job we do is important to the provision of healthcare in Kincardine, and we feel that we will be both better treated and be able to deliver a better service as part of the team. It is good that UNISON has stuck to its guns over these last ten years and always argued for staff to be employed in-house."


Note for Editors: If reporters and or photographers wish to attend the ‘welcome back' event, or interview the staff involved, please contact Sarah Duncan or Sandra-Dee Masson (numbers below)

For Further Information Please Contact: Sarah Duncan (Regional Organiser - UNISON) - 07904 342 521 (m) Sandra-Dee Masson (Branch Chair - UNISON Grampian Health) 07792 388 904 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer- UNISON) 0771 558 3729(m)