A protest took place outside Queen’s Medical Centre with a giant inflatable rat to put pressure on the hospital’s Trust Board to cancel its contract with Carillion.
Carillion, which was awarded the £200m facilities contract in 2014 by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH), has been at the centre of a row between the trust, staff and MPs after concerns were raised about cleanliness, resources and staffing.
Some members of staff have previously told the Post that they don’t have enough equipment and some facilities were being left in a “third-rate” and “filthy” state.
On Thursday, November 24, the Nottingham University Hospital Trust board met at the Postgraduate Education Centre, QMC to decide on the future of the troubled contract.
The Trust said it was at “a critical stage” and “a decision will be made by the end of November.”
Keep Our NHS Public (KONP), which organised the protest with a giant inflatable rat, said problems at the hospital included dirty wards, broken-down lifts, failure to provide enough sheets for patients, nursing staff forced to make up for the lack of cleaners and rats seen in hospital kitchens.
Despite a number of reviews, KONP said the company had failed to clean up its act.
KONP has been campaigning on this issue since problems first became apparent and are now asking the board to formally dismiss Carillion from the contract and take services back in-house.
Mike Scott, spokesperson for the campaign group, told the Post: “Like the band UB40, the Trust board have a rat in their kitchen and need to decide what they’re going to do.
“Carillion have had innumerable last chances and have shown all too clearly that they’re focused on profits rather than patients.
“They’ve had problems with other hospital contracts and those have been repeated here – hospital staff and managers are at their wits’ end and patients are routinely putting up with dirty wards.
“They’ve treated everyone with contempt and it’s time to give them their marching orders. The only way to guarantee services in the long-term is to take the contract back in-house.”
KONP demonstrated at the Derby Road entrance to the QMC campus from noon on Thursday and were accompanied by a 12ft inflatable rat.
Mr Scott added: “It was not a mass demonstration it was an opportunity to show local people and patients going into the hospital what the problems are and put pressure on the board to get the contract cancelled. We were happy with the outcome. We had about 10 to 15 people, which is what we were expecting.”
A spokeswoman for QMC said that the board had not yet made a decision on the contract but it was at a critical stage and a decision will be made by the end of November.
In a statement to the Post, it read: “After implementing several rigorous interventions, serious concerns remain about the cleanliness, and Carillion’s performance in other services. The NUH Board is giving very active consideration to the future of the Carillion contract and the Trust will update patients, partners and staff on next steps in the very near future.”
Carillon did not wish to comment in regards to the protest.