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27 November 2013, 12:22
Cornwall's largest Health Service Trades Union, is calling on the board of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust to withdraw proposals to privatise its support services.
UNISON claims that the board of RCHT plans to privatise over 450 essential front line jobs at hospitals across Cornwall.
The jobs involved include catering, housekeeping, cleaning, portering, waste, switchboard and many other vital front line services.
The union is also claiming that the potential for contract failure and reductions in the quality of service pose a big risk to the Trust in its attempts to gain Foundation status.
Failure by the Trust to gain Foundation status could mean it being taken over by another Trust from outside the county.
Replying to the claims Chief Executive, Lezli Boswell said: "The NHS faces the challenge of delivering high quality care against a background of rising demand and increasing costs, threatening stability and sustainability of front-line clinical services.
"It would be irresponsible of the RCHT Board not to look at all options, in the same way as Cornwall Council and all public services are doing. "No decision has been made yet and it is disappointing that Unison has taken this stance at this time.
"Our focus will be firmly on making the right decision to provide the highest quality of services for patients, their carers and families."