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Scots have made ''An ill-advised decision''

04 November 2008

FMA warns against the recent decision by the Scottish Government to prevent private contractors from tendering for catering and cleaning contracts for the Scottish NHS.

Richard Sykes, Chairman of the Facilities Management Association said:
“The decision does not seem based on any logic and is ill advised. Private sector organisations provide innovation, improved standards and lower costs. This is clearly a political move that has no logic and misleads the public into believing that the private sector does not perform as well as the public sector. Such a decision will stagnate service improvements for the Scottish NHS which ultimately will be of detriment to the public. I would have hoped that the Scottish Government would have spent more time liaising with the Private sector to discuss how performance and service improvements could be sought via better procurement of the services the first instance.”

The FMA has a number of member organisations that will be affected by the new guidance issued to hospitals in Scotland last week, prohibiting private contractors from bidding for any new catering or cleaning work with the NHS. Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon claimed bringing services in-house was the only effective way to reduce superbug infection rates in Scotland’s hospitals despite no evidence being available to support this view.

We are aware that less than 50% of hospitals in the UK outsource their cleaning contracts and recommend that immediate benchmarking data be compiled for comparison measurement of future effectiveness both for infection rates caused by poor cleaning and cost. "

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