The latest edition of The Lowdown is reporting a victory for NHS campaigners after Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was forced into a U-turn over its plans to award a £25m contract to private company, One Primary Care.
The contract was to run two urgent treatment centres, one being based in Widnes and the other in Runcorn and both of which are currently run by NHS providers.
The original decision by Halton CCG to award the contract to a private company led to local GPs, trade unions, NHS campaigners and local MP Mike Amesbury to contest the decision.
The victory for NHS campaigners came after the NHS providers currently running the treatment centres, Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust and Bridgewater Community Healthcare Foundation Trust, threatened to take legal action against Halton CCG over the decision.
It is now understood that the NHS Trusts will continue to provide the services in the short term. But this does not mean that the CCG wont attempt to privatise them in the near future.
MP Mike Amesbury told the Liverpool Echo that when he asked Health Secretary Matt Hancock to clarify as to whether there were plans in the near future to privatise the clinics Mr Hancock enigmatically responded by saying: “The most important principle at stake is how to deliver the best possible services for our constituents.”
Notes: This story was originally featured in The Lowdown, an essential resource for journalists and NHS activists looking for up to date and expert analysis on the privatisation of the NHS. You can grab the latest edition of The Lowdown here.