A Game of Two Halves…

In March next year Manchester’s patient transport service is set to be taken over by the bus company Arriva. Arriva won the contract even though their bid performed worse on quality than the in-house option. This is blatant privatisation of the NHS with a private company given a free hand to put profits before patients.

UNISON is leading the campaign to keep Manchester Ambulances public and Manchester branch activists braved the rain to get a good result down at the Etihad Stadium last week… even if City were robbed at the last minute.

Despite a freezing cold, wet night the City fans were right behind us as we gave out hundreds of campaign postcards and collected over 50 signatures on the petition

Branch officer and die hard blue Eddy Redmond said:

“The fans we spoke to thought it was a disgrace. At one point we had people queuing up to sign the petition. Everyone was shocked and horrified at this attempt to privatise part of our NHS.”

“One bloke signed, then brought his whole family back to sign it. It was great to see so many young people taking an interest too.”

Georgina Sullivan, one of the Manchester College stewards said:

“I had a great time talking to people about the threat to our ambulance service.” People were shocked to hear about the ambulances and keen to sign the petition, it’s just a shame City didn’t do so well!” “We challenge the Branch United fans to get more signatures at Old Trafford next week!”

Nixon Tod the College convenor spoke to two fans from Mexico who signed up saying “in Mexico we must pay before the ambulance will take you. The poor cannot go to the hospital. You must not let this happen in Manchester! It is neo liberalismo!”

Branch City fans may have been disappointed at the end of the match but the opportunity to get support from so many for this campaign was worth the effort and was a real result.

City fans signing Ambulance petition
Ambulance campaign member with Tony Lloyd

To sign our on-line petition and find out how you can help visit:


You can also follow the campaign on twitter


Patrick Taylor
Assistant Branch Secretary

Share this post