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NHS privatisation plans for care services could exceed 1 billion

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Plans to privatise certain sections of the NHS have been announced including outsourcing cancer care and end of life care. This has led to worry that NHS workers currently providing these crucial services could be in danger of losing their jobs.

A 10 year contract for cancer care is up for grabs and bids are expected from a number of private healthcare companies once the tender has been issued. Ramsay Health, Virgin and Care UK are all said to be very interested in acquiring the contract which is reported to be worth in the region of around £700 million.

In a separate development, a contract worth in excess of £500 million is being put out to tender for end of life care for over 750,000 patients. Needless to say, the reaction to this news has not been enthusiastic with many expressing their concerns at the government's willingness to outsource critical public services.

Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham has said "David Cameron and his ministers need to be reminded that they have never been given the permission of the public to put the NHS up for sale. Piece by piece, they are unpicking the NHS and selling it off to their friends in private health."

Director of the NHS Support Federation Paul Evans has gone on record saying "The most sensitive areas of NHS care are being opened to the private sector. This shows there is no limit to the willingness of the government to replace NHS services with those from profit-driven companies."

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