Out of Hours services for patients in Gloucestershire are set to be taken over by a private healthcare company for the first time.
Care UK is poised to take over provision of the primary care service from the publicly funded South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
Due to tightening budgets the NHS Trust announced last autumn it would be forced to terminate its contract early to focus efforts on the provision of 999/emergency care.
The “interim” deal with Care UK was made after a competitive tender and evaluation process by the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The privately contractor, which is Britain’s biggest provider of out-of-hours services, will take over on a short-term 10 month contract from June 1, 2017.
Health chiefs in the county say the deal will help ensure high quality and safety for patients during the interim and have promised a seamless transition.
But NHS campaigners in Stroud have condemned the move as a damning indictment of the current trend of privatisation in local NHS services…read more