A damning report by the National Audit Office (NAO) today (Thursday 17 May) on Capita’s £330 million contract with NHS England to provide primary care services reinforces the folly of privatisation, Unite, the country’s largest union, said.

Unite said that the NAO had performed a sterling public service in highlighting the failures in the seven year contract, starting in August 2015, which included an estimated 1,000 GP, dentists and opticians being delayed from working with patients. 

Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, has long campaigned against the outsourcing and fragmentation of NHS services to companies whose primary motive is profit. 

Most recently, Unite warned that the NHS faces a ‘Pandora’s Box of Carillion-type meltdowns’, if NHS trusts continue to set up subsidiaries to avoid paying tax and wrote to the health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for an immediate moratorium on further private limited companies being established by trusts in England. 

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “The National Audit Office has performed a sterling public service in pinpointing the glaring failings in the Capita contract. 

“This scathing report once more highlights the folly of privatising NHS services where the profit motive trumps patient care – the time has come for the government to say ‘enough is enough’. 

“The NAO findings are given extra pungency by yesterday’s excoriating report by two Commons select committees into the collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion in January. 

“How many more reports are needed to reinforce the case that the privatisation of NHS services short changes patients in particular and the taxpayer in general?”


Notes to editors: 
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065. Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.