The former vice chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has raised concerns about what will happen to the workforce if plans to privatise "hotel services" go ahead, saying that the people of Cornwall "don’t want another Serco Out of Hours disaster".
The preferred private provider is a large private outsourcing company called Mitie.
Rik Evans hand in his resignation from the Board of RCHT last month as a matter of principle, saying that the only way the company can make large profits for the benefit of "overpaid directors and shareholders is by reducing the terms and conditions of their workforce".
His resignation was over the decision by the RCHT Board to privatise cleaning, catering, portering, security and reception services at RCHT. This would affect up to 600 of RCHT’s lowest paid staff.
Mr Evans told The Packet: “When I resigned from the board I did so as a matter of principle and although I hoped I would have the public’s support I didn’t think for one moment that there was such a level of anger about this privatisation. I have been inundated with messages from across the Cornish community.
"Staff at all levels in the Trust have contacted me as well as members of the general public. The people of Cornwall don’t want another Serco Out of Hours disaster.
“I take real pleasure from the response I have had from political parties in Cornwall. All three main political parties, our local MP Sarah Newton, Cllr. Simon Rix of the Lib Dems and Michael Foster Cllr. Jude Robinson and Cllr Hanna Toms of the Labour Party as well as Unison have been in touch expressing concern at this development."
"We often hear of politicians disagreeing with each other but on this issue they are all expressing a significant levels of dismay at the Board’s decision and this is inspiring,” Mr Evans added.
“The preferred private provider, which the RCHT Board has agreed upon, is a large private outsourcing company called Mitie. They produced a very upbeat glossy brochure, which obviously impressed the Board. Unfortunately a quick glance at Mities’s employment record shows a number of Employment Tribunals as well as strikes brought about by their need to reduce the terms and conditions of their workforce.
This is the only way the company can make large profits for the benefit of overpaid directors and shareholders, mostly coming from the public purse.” Mr Evans said.
Mr Evans added, I would urge all people in Cornwall who are opposed to this private outsourcing of our health services in Cornwall to write to the chairman of RCHT and copy to the MP for Truro Falmouth, Sarah Newton.”