More than 14,000 people have signed a petition to stop the part-privatisation of York Hospital’s emergency department – and it will be delivered to Parliament today (Wednesday).
York Central MP Rachael Maskell will present the petition in Westminster, which calls on the NHS Trust to scrap plans to allow a private company, Vocare, to take over duties at the A&E’s minor injuries unit.
The Labour MP said: “Over 14,000 people from across the city have shown their support for the NHS to keep its minor injuries unit in the NHS.
“This incredible response joins with the voices of staff working in the department at the hospital who have made it clear that services are better delivered in the NHS.
“The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has also confirmed this to be the case.
“We are still in the midst of a pandemic, where the NHS has been placed under significant pressure.
“It now has to turn its focus on clearing a significant backlog of appointments and procedures. These should be the priorities of York’s NHS, not the privatisation of services; not now, not ever.”
Ms Maskell told YorkMix since the launch of the petition, intense talks have taken place over the future of York’s minor injuries unit.
Changes are required to comply with guidance over urgent treatment centres – but alternatives to transferring the service to Vocare, a subsidiary of the multi-million pound business Totally plc, are now being seriously considered.
She added it was the support from the residents of York “who depend on the hospital at their time of need, and fund it through paying their taxes” that has helped open up these discussions.
“In presenting this petition to Parliament, I am clearly highlighting the importance that the people of York place on keeping the whole of their Emergency Department in the NHS, working for public good not private profit.
“I am grateful to York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group for meeting with me, and am glad that intense discussions are now taking place to find an alternative solution.”