Union calls for staff ballot on social enterprise plan

Posted on October 27, 2009. Filed under: News stories, Social enterprise |

Healthcare Republic | Neil Durham | Kingston PCT | 27 October 2009

Staff at a Surrey PCT should be balloted over proposals to hive off NHS services into a social enterprise, according to union Unite/CPHVA.

The call to Kingston PCT follows the announcement by the DoH that the NHS should be the ‘preferred provider’ of choice.

Unite describes social enterprises as commercial organisations which can win and lose contracts to provide services to the NHS. It fears social enterprises may have to pay VAT, a tax from which the NHS is exempt.

Peter Storey, Unite’s regional officer, said: ‘It is clear that social enterprises are a leap in the dark in terms of provision of services; the employment conditions and pensions of NHS staff that could be severely eroded, or even lost; and the viability of the financial model proposed, if VAT is charged on its services.

‘You could get a situation where a visit by a health visitor to a young mum suffering from postnatal depression will result in the organisation having to pay VAT when it comes to internal accounting. That is unacceptable.’

Kingston PCT was unavailable for comment.

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