Union anger as 'essential' Chesterfield Royal Hospital service outsourced to US company

Union leaders have criticised Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s plans to ‘sell off’ an ‘essential’ service to an American company.
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The Derbyshire Times revealed on Friday that the trust which runs the hospital planned to outsource its medical device management and decontamination services after a ‘thorough and lengthy review process’.

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Chesterfield & District Trade Union Council says the firm chosen is US-based multinational health company the STERIS corporation, which is based in Mentor, Ohio.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital is to outsource an 'essential' service.Chesterfield Royal Hospital is to outsource an 'essential' service.
Chesterfield Royal Hospital is to outsource an 'essential' service.

James Eaden, president of Chesterfield & District Trade Union Council, said: “Earlier this year the local community and workers at the Royal raised serious objections to the outsourcing of up to 700 non-medical staff to a ‘wholly owned subsidiary’. Now the trust are going a step further with a full privatisation of a service area at the Royal.”

A spokesperson for Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “It’s a service that is essential to the safe and effective running of clinical services and by outsourcing we are able to protect terms and conditions for existing staff, make quality and compliance improvements, along with reduced equipment supply and maintenance costs.”

An anonymous letter sent to the Derbyshire Times claimed the move was being made without consultation and staff were being ‘virtually silenced’ but this was denied by trust bosses, who insisted staff had been ‘fully briefed’ about the changes at the Royal.