George: Trust may have to hold early review of private health contracts

Posted on: 21st October 2014

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, commented on reports that after only a month since Mitie took over hotel services at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT), clinicians and patients are concerned about apparently diminished standards in provision of services and claims that basic standards of hygiene and infection control are not being adhered to.

Mr George had previously expressed his concern that the outsourcing of the service to a private contractor was a “false economy” and that it would heighten the risk to patient safety.

Fears have been voiced that Mitie (which has taken over the biggest ever private contact awarded by RCHT) is putting patient safety at risk because, it is claimed, minimum standards are not being observed.

Mr George, who is a member of the Commons Health Select Committee said, “If what is reported today is accurate, this suggests that the Trust should hold an early review of the contract and be prepared, if necessary, to reverse its decision, if that is possible.”

Mr George had urged the Trust not to go ahead with the contract and argued that, instead of fragmenting and privatising, the Trust should have integrated their hotel and cleaning services as well as looking at: 1) how can they help to enhance patient/visitor satisfaction and improve constructive feedback to lead to a better service; 2) how their cleaners can be better integrated into the infection control policy of the Trust.