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CG Voices Concerns On Local Radio

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Community Glue went on BBC Radio Oxford's Phil Mercer Show today to give an opinion on the NHS Futures Forum's recommendations, which were published earlier today. We drew people's attention to the dangers of handing over large chunks of the health and social care system to the private sector, as evidenced by the current difficulties of private company Southern Cross. It seems like it will be forced to sell off 132 of its 750 or so homes, as well as sacking 3,000 of its 44,000 staff. Southern Cross claims it won't affect people's care, but people are rightly sceptical. The difference between Southern Cross and the NHS, at the moment, is that the latter is run by the state. Now the NHS has run out of money, it's ultimately the responsibility of the Department of Health and the ministers who run it to decide how much money can be saved without hurting patients; we may not like them, but at least we can vote for someone else in 4 years. With Southern Cross it seems it's the company's creditors - the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Lloyds Group - who will finally say how far the cuts will have to go, or even whether the company survives. The proposed revisions to the Health and Social Care Bill include slowing down the privatisation process, but crucially not preventing it. That's why we believe public and patients' rights groups should still oppose the Bill.

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