UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Coalition to axe NHS Direct -3000 jobs on the line‏

Andrew Lansley, Tory Secretary of State Secretary of State for Health, has let slip that the Coalition is to scrap the popular and highly used NHS Direct for a cheaper service, according to a Guardian report. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/27/nhs-direct-health-phone-service

The proposal - which has been lobbied for by on-the-make GP organisations - is to replace 3,000 dedicated specialist nurses and health professionals with a cheap private call centre, with no access to a nurse. Private call centres with unqualified staff can never replace this excellent service, which provides vital immediate support such as during the swine flu outbreak which saw scores of people die.

UNISON NHS Direct Organiser Michael Walker responded:

"Not one Coalition party stated they would scrap NHS Direct in their manifesto. There is no mandate for cutting this service . If the government attack NHS Direct, what else is next? What other NHS cuts are they hiding? It is time for Cameron and Clegg to come clean about their real plans for our NHS."