The NHS is likely to lose millions after the Department of Health announced that it will be privatising a valued section of the NHS. The section to be sold is the NHS’s in-house temporary staffing agency, a part of the NHS that has repeatedly proven to be profitable and successful.
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The NHS Professionals
The NHS Professionals is the largest provider of temporary medical staff to the National Health Service, and they save the NHS around £70 million a year. They provide staffing banks to multiple NHS trusts, and currently have over 90,000 medical professionals working for them. They provide NHS trusts with staff whenever they are needed for a reasonable cost, a rate that is much lower than the rates of private staffing agencies.
The service is currently owned by the Department of Health and is state owned rather than state funded. This means that the profits are fed back into the NHS, providing much-needed funds to the British health care service.
The service is currently invaluable, but privatising it will mean that profits no longer need to be fed back to the NHS. This means that it is likely that the NHS will lose millions at a time when the money is desperately needed.
The Privatisation of the Service
It is difficult to know what to expect from this privatisation. These companies are able to deliver high quality clinical staffing solutions across the UK in a wide range of areas. The companies are able to deliver staff who match the needs of the NHS and are able to deal with aggressive deadlines. This means that the NHS can find competent staff easily.
While the news is shocking, it isn’t unexpected. In fact the Times featured an article about Jeremy Hunt ‘plotting the sell-off of NHS staff provider’ in June 2016.
There are lots of different companies who may take over NHS staffing, but either way it will be a big loss for the health service. A sell-off means that money is being taken out of the health service and put into the pockets of private companies and CEOs.