Dangers lie ahead with hospital outsourcing

Jackie Daniel, local health trust chief executive
Jackie Daniel, local health trust chief executive
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I don’t underestimate the scale of the task facing University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust but if outsourcing – as being considered in the case of pharmacy services – is the answer, then one has to wonder if management there really is losing its way.

Ms Daniel and her team should look at the increasingly extensive research into the true cost of contracting out public services – and then renew its faith in the capacity of the public sector to innovate and thereby deliver effective and efficient services for the greater good.

One risk with outsourcing is that a private company may submit a teasingly attractive up front tender price and, with the contract secured, then proceed to rack up charges for each service variation that is requested, however minor.

I come from a private sector background and it’s great at delivering many kinds of products and services.

But for me the profit motive doesn’t mesh well with complex, quality of life services like health, education and a whole range of other ‘public goods’.

So let’s have the private and public sectors as mutually respectful social partners – but keep the relationship strictly platonic.

Tim Hamilton-Cox

Green Party City Councillor

Alderman Road