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Delegates warn blood service not for sale


Angry delegates attending the Unison health group conference in Liverpool will speak out during an emergency motion tomorrow against government plans to sell off parts of the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) service to privateers.

Delegates at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool are set to condemn the government for looking to private companies such as Capita and DHL to take over parts of the service including the testing, processing and transport of blood products.

Unison says the plans are a “first step in the privatisation of the whole service.”

The union warned that people will stop donating and it vowed to support blood service branches in campaigning against attempts by private firms to make money from blood and organs donated freely by the public.

Delegates are expected to push for the issue to be at the forefront of Unison’s campaign to defend the NHS.

Unison’s Northern Blood Centre branch secretary and donor carer supervisor Bev Easton said: “We’re fighting to stop the blood and organ donation service being sold off because we believe that private companies should not make a profit from blood and organs donated free by the public.

“This would undermine the very fabric of the NHS, with potentially devastating consequences for patients.”

On the opening day of the health group conference today members in the blood and transplant service held a public meeting at 5pm titled Say No To Blood Money.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The current review is at the early stages and is overseen by a steering group containing representatives from relevant department policy teams and NHSBT.

“During the review we will be considering the experience and skills that exist in the private sector to identify opportunities for making NHSBT more commercially effective.”

Unison is holding its annual health conference in Liverpool this week. For more information about the NHSBT campaign visit www.unison.org.uk/million

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