Cllr Teresa Murray, Medway Labour Health Spokesperson was shocked to hear that an outsourced option for the new single both Kent pathology service is being considered.
Over the summer the pathology service in Medway was in chaos with many blood tests having to be repeated because they had been lost or were processed out of time. This happened just with the transfer of services from Medway hospital to Darent Valley. Although the service has now recovered the problems showed just how complex moving this vital service can be.
At the 16 October 2018 Health scrutiny meeting the out-going CEO of Medway Maritime Trust admitted there had been serious problems and promised to take this into account as the Trusts moved towards a single service in order to save money.
Cllr Murray, Labour Councillor for Rochester East said, ‘There was no mention of privatisation at the meeting and I support Unite’s severe reservations about this option.
‘Recently private company Healthcare Environment Service (HES) Ltd contracted to dispose of hospital waste was found to be stock piling and illegally dumping the waste. NHS staff are trained and ethical, the Trusts should put skill and integrity over cost cutting.
‘Outsourcing failures cost more than any initial savings and in the case of pathology, failure costs lives. I will be lobbying for a fully NHS owned service.’
Evidence of medical waste dumping by HES Ltd: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-human-amputated-body-parts-organs-medical-waste-hazardous-healthcare-environment-services-hsj-a8569146.html
For admission of serious problems with pathology, see printed minutes, p12-13: https://democracy.medway.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=131&MId=4089
Unit’s response to proposals: https://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/union-warning-over-privatisation-plans-196363/
"Outsourcing failures cost more than any initial savings and in the case of pathology, failure costs lives. I will be lobbying for a fully NHS owned service." Cllr Murray, Medway Labour Spokesperson for Health and Labour Councillor for Rochester East