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19 June 2000

D-DAY FOR PRIVATISED NHS PATHOLOGY SERVICE

Health union MSF today (Monday, 19 June) warned East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust that failure to bring the privatised pathology service at Lister Hospital, Stevenage back into the NHS would be counter to the best of interest of the health service.

On Wednesday, 21 June the hospital committee advising on the contract, which is due for renewal, will make its recommendation to be discussed by the Trust Board on 5 July.

MSF Head of Health, Roger Kline said today "The local GPs, consultants and pathology staff want the privatised contract to end. Bringing pathology services back into the NHS was an assurance by Health Minister, Alan Milburn which MSF welcomed at the time."

"For both these reasons, the contract must not be renewed. Nor do we want any kind of partnership with the private sector. This is a service best delivered by the NHS."

MSF Regional Officer, John Simmons warned that MSF, whose local representatives had had great difficulty getting involved in the local decisions on this, would regard any refusal to end the contract most seriously.

"There is no good reason to extend this contract. Pathology services are excluded PFI contracts and we expect the Lister Hospital contract with Unilabs in Stevenage to come back in-house and end another chapter of Conservative dogma."

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NOTE FOR NEWS DESKS

For further information, please contact

Roger Kline 0468 69 39 34
John Simmons 0468 93 13 22
Colin Adkins (020) 7939 7095
Shaun Noble, Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40

MSF press releases can be seen on our web site: www.msfhealth.org

MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association. MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's fifth largest union.


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