West Cornwall and St Michael’s Hospitals must be protected from privatisation risk

Posted on: 1st July 2014

wch1 resizedWest Cornwall Hospital, Penzance


The MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Andrew George, is calling on local health chiefs to ensure that the future of neither West Cornwall nor St Michael’s Hospitals (in Penzance and Hayle respectively) are jeopardised as a result of a decision to open non-urgent procedures to an open tendering process.

Mr George, who led a Parliamentary campaign against the Government’s Health and Social Care Act and opposed the last Labour Government’s opening up on NHS services to private companies, has warned Ministers of the risk of putting “profit before patient interests”.

Commenting on the procurement decision of local Health Commissioners, NHS Kernow, Mr George said: “Many of the procedures which are now out for open tender are core services provided at West Cornwall and, in the case of orthopaedics, is crucial to the future viability of St Michael’s Hospital.

“I’m not convinced that Commissioners have fully understood the potential and catastrophic consequences of their decision to open up these services to open tender.  Of course, I understand that they are obliged to do so, but they must take into account the consequences of any decisions which might result in undermining the future of either or both West Cornwall and St Michael’s Hospitals.  What they may believe they gain by offering patients a wider choice we will all lose if this undermines the future viability of a core NHS service admired and appreciated by all.”

Mr George has written to NHS Kernow urging them to take account of the “potential consequential impact” of any decision they make.