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Warning Over Potential Privatisation Of Children's Healthcare

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:02am 13th October 2014

Children's health services in Cornwall could be privatised.

NHS Kernow is putting 23 out to tender, including things like health visitors, school nurses, speech therapists and specialist mental health services.

Bosses say it will save money and improve care.

Graham Webster from Health Initiative Cornwall warned: "One of the difficulties we've had in Cornwall is the fragmentation of services that we now have. That has not been helped by having private sector providers. I don't think, in the long run, this is helpful to service users.

"We have the difficulties we've had with the out of hours health service, putting adult community health services into social enterprise has not been a success. NHS Kernow need to listen to the people. We've had enough - we need integration and we need to get on with it."

Health bosses insist there has already been "an extensive engagement and consultation process" involving children, young people and their families.

Sue Smith, NHS Kernow's Programme Director for Delivery, said: "This decision will ensure we have a robust service in place for 1 April, 2016, that allows children, young people and their families to access services that improve children and young people's health and wellbeing.

"It is our vision to improve people's experience of care and support and reduce the cost of care. This procurement will ensure we achieve this."

The new contracts, which have a combined value of £22 million per year, must be in place for 1 April 2016.

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