Last week staff from the Sterile Services Department at King Georges Hospital and Queens Hospital contacted Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham regarding proposed outsourcing of services. The prime concerns centre on potential job losses and the subsequent negative impact this will have on the standard of care delivered by the Barking, Havering, and Redbridge University Trust.
Local Rainham resident Andrew Ruff explained that their unit at STERIS IMS currently provide sterilisation services on site, but that under the new plans these services are due to be outsourced to Maidstone in Kent. The unit is often called upon in emergencies and are required to take sterile trays between Queen's Hospital and King Georges Hospital.
Jon Cruddas MP said: "time is of the essence when responding with Sterile Trays across our local services. So to move the service over 40 miles away could seriously jeopardize the Trusts commitment to patient safety. I'm with the staff on this, and have written to the Trusts Chief Executive Matthew Hopkins."
Over 173 of the staff signed a petition against the proposed outsourcing of services, and an online petition has now been launched. You can sign the petition HERE
Jon Cruddas contacted the NHS Trust posing three key questions;
- What savings does the Trust stand to make by outsourcing the service, and what form will these savings take? I.e. staff, services, equipment.
- What commitment can the Trust make to ensure that there is little to no negative impact on staff numbers as a result of changes should they go ahead?
- What plans are in place to ensure standards of patient care are not compromised as a result of this move should it go ahead?
Jon added: "I fail to see how closing the King George sterile services department and outsourcing it to Maidstone in Kent is going to provide better health care across BHRUT.
"It looks like another example of cost-cutting and privatisation in the NHS putting patients' lives at risk. The fact so many outpatient and theatre staff have signed this petition tells its own story.
"While I have nothing against good housekeeping, patient safety must not be compromised in the name of austerity."