Fears health contract will go to private firm

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Another health contact worth £2.5m could go into private hands, it is feared.

The NHS England Lancashire Area Team is seeking a provider to deliver its child health information service (CHIS).

The CHIS is responsible for maintaining an accurate Child Health Record for all children aged 0-19 in Lancashire.

It is responsible in most areas for the scheduling of childhood vaccinations and for maintaining an accurate register of children moving in/out of the area.

The three year contract is to run from April 2015 to March 2018.

The deadline for companies to apply for the tender was the end of August but a decision on the provider has not yet been made.

Tim Ellis from trade union UNISON added: “It is further privatisation, there will be profit taking and disruption of existing services.

“There’s been no consultation that we are aware of with GPs or the public in general.

“It’s yet more out servicing of our great NHS. It’s shameful that the government is spending all this time trying to privatise the NHS when schemes such as the safe homes project in Lancashire have been abandoned.”

It comes just days after the Evening Post reported that the first major hospital in Lancashire has been awarded to a private firm.

A spokesmann for NHS England in Lancashire said: “We are committed to ensuring patients have access to highest quality primary care services available.

“The Lancashire Children’s Health Information Services is currently commissioned by NHS England in Lancashire, we are legally required to tender out the contract under procurement law and NHS cooperation and competition rules.

“We can confirm the contract is currently in the tendering process and therefore we are unable to comment at this current time.”