Leicester

Interserve starts £300m NHS Leicestershire contract

The management of all NHS buildings and support staff across Leicestershire and Rutland has been handed over to a private company.

Interserve signed the £300m, seven-year deal in December, with the local NHS trust saying it expected to save £100m.

More than 2,000 staff have been transferred to Interserve, which will maintain 550 buildings and deliver services such as catering and cleaning.

The firm has not given any indication of whether jobs will be cut.

Neither Interserve nor the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust have commented on the start of the contract but when it was signed in December, both said they were committed to quality services as well as efficiency.

Leicester health campaigner Zuffar Haq said patients need to be at the heart of any system.

"The question is whether we have faith in the NHS to monitor the contract correctly and on the ground, whether it is improving services for patients," he said.

"They have said that with catering services, the meals will improve - that is a judgement that can only be made by the patients."

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