Unite the Union has welcomed the funding levels for NHS PCTs for the next two years – but has warned it should not be "frittered away on misguided excursions into privatisation".
Unite's National Officer for Health, Karen Reay, welcomed the health secretary's announcement that PCTs will receive £164bn over the next two years - an average annual increase of 5.5%.
Karen Reay said: "In the current economic climate, this funding commitment is to be warmly welcomed and demonstrates that government's continued financial support for the NHS since 1997.
"However, in recent years, too much of the taxpayers' money has been frittered on misguided excursions into the world of privatisiation, where shareholder profit comes before patient care."
She added: "Money that should have been spent on frontline quality care in the hospitals and health centres of the UK has been diverted into expensive private finance initiatives and underused independent sector treatment centres and the employment of legions of management consultants.
"In the year that we celebrate the 60th birthday of Aneurin Bevan's creation – the NHS – we urge the government to end its sad love affair with the private companies that want to turn the health service into a market place."