Rik Evans

Picture National Health Action (NHA)

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Rik Evans
Twitter: @evans_rik
Facebook: rikevansnha


Alternate Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rik.evans.14


About Rik

“I have been involved in Health in Cornwall for over 25 years, most recently as a non-executive director of the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust.
On May 29th I resigned as Vice Chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust over the issue of privatising Hotel Services. I had been a member of the Board for over six years and a member of health boards in Cornwall for over 25 years. For me it was a matter of principle. The decision to privatise Hotel Services was taken without the board being allowed to receive important information about the disturbing employment practices of the preferred private provider. I could not remain on a board with this inadequate level of governance.
My decision to resign from the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust has highlighted to Cornish patients the dangers of allowing boards of NHS trusts to make important decisions in secret.
The board of RCHT made the decision to privatise without being allowed to receive important information about the preferred private providers deplorable dispute and strike record. Despite my enjoyment at being involved with patients and staff I was not prepared to sit on a board which had so little concern for its 600 hard working staff as to force them into such an uncaring organisation whose sole reason for existing was to make private profit from unwell patients.
Here in Cornwall our acute hospital RCHT has to a large extent managed to resist large scale privatisation apart from Hotel Services, but I know there are more being proposed. The out of hours service run by Serco, which was transferred several years ago has been a disaster and they are trying to get out of the contract leaving Cornwall with a real dilemna. I was on the panel which decided the out of hours contract and was the only member of the panel to vote against them.
The community hospitals contract was advertised by the PCT in 2011 and RCHT bid for it. To no avail, the PCT were determined to follow the Coalitions strategy and they granted the contract to a non NHS provider, Peninsula Community Care. After only three years that company is in trouble and the people of Cornwall are nervously waiting to see how our health ” experts” are going to extricate themselves from yet another privatising blunder.

I was brought up in Canada moved to UK and left school at 16. I started my own Marquee Hire business in Cornwall at the age of 21, married the same year and have three children and seven Grandchildren. Over the past 45 years I have started and run three further businesses.
Here in Cornwall I have chaired Charitable Funds, Clinical Excellence Awards and was a member of the Audit and Governance Committees. I was also Chairman of a highly effective Charitable Appeal for Stroke patients in Cornwall which raised over £500,000.
In Canada I grew up with a health system that did not have a free at the point of need health care and witnessed folk having to remortgage their homes to pay for health care, hence my involvement in NHS boards in Cornwall for over 25 years.
The NHS is the greatest health care system in the world and now needs protecting from private profit vultures. I do not want to see a credit card accessed NHS in the UK but am deeply concerned this is the way we are heading. I lost the battle over privatising Hotel Services at RCHT but will do all in my power to prevent further privatisations in the NHS in Cornwall.