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Campaigners urge caution on blood campaign victory
7:00pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A CAMPAIGN group has urged for some caution amid the celebration of blood testing staying in south Essex.
While welcoming the news Dr Norman Traub, of Southend Keep Our NHS Public, remains concerned about the involvement of private firms within the NHS.
Consolidated Pathology Services (CPS) was announced as the new provider of pathology services in December.
The plan was for four blood testing bases to be introduced in the east of England with south Essex blood being sent for analysis at Bedford Hospital, 88 miles away from Southend.
Now, when contracts are signed for Southend and Basildon, the hospitals will be sub contracted by CPS.
While Southend hospital runs its own lab with its own staff, Bedford’s lab is run by GSTS Pathology service made up of NHS hospital staff and private health firm Serco.
Dr Traub, a retired Southend Hospital pathologist, said: “The people of Southend and Basildon gave their unqualified support to the Echo campaign because they were satisfied with the service as it is.
“The health authority has had to bow down to public pressure. But I don’t see this as anything to celebrate.
“It could have been worse with our tests going to Bedford, but in the long term with the involvement of Serco I’m afraid the NHS is going down the privatisation route.”