Unite welcomes removal of threat to blood service

Unite, Britain's biggest union, has welcomed news that the NHS blood service will escape privatisation. The Commercial Effectiveness Review has made no recommendations to privatise or outsource parts of the NHS Blood Transplant Service.

On 16 February, Unite learnt that the Department of Health's commercial directorate held talks with private providers about running parts of the NHS Blood and Transplant service. Capita and DHL were understood to be interested in taking over parts of the service.

Unite launched a media and online campaign against the potential privatisation of parts of the blood service and raised the issue with MPs who asked questions in the house. A recent independent poll of 18,000 people commissioned by Unite showed that 74 per cent opposed the privatisation of any part of the blood service. Over 50,783 people signed a petition started by Unite against privatisation.

Unite national officer, Rachael Maskell said:

"Unite will continue to keep a careful watch over this very precious service. Our campaign struck a chord with the general public, who were outraged when they learnt that the government was prepared to even consider privatising parts of the blood service.

"The NHS is still under attack from this government. Unite will continue to campaign against the Health and Social Care Bill and the coalition's plans to dismantle the NHS."