Across the NHS we are seeing growing problems with staff shortages and recruitment. In many cases NHS Trusts need to bring in staff on a short-term basis in order to keep services running as normal.
The NHS spends around £3 billion a year on hiring temporary staff, of which up to 20% goes directly to private agencies as profit.
You may not know that we have a publicly owned organisation which helps with this issue. NHS Professionals was set up to help the NHS reduce its reliance on exploitative private staffing agencies.
NHS Professionals provides over 90,000 doctors and other healthcare workers for around 60 NHS trusts in England. This saves the NHS £70 million every year because it doesn’t charge expensive commission fees, unlike private agencies. However, the Government is looking to privatise it.
Privatising this service would only increase costs for the NHS and provide nothing more to patients. The money from the sale wouldn’t even match the amount we save in a single year thanks to this organisation.
I am opposed to this privatisation and have added my name to Early Day Motion 152, calling for the Government to halt the sale immediately and keep NHS Professionals in public ownership.
Update- 12:00 7/9/17
Well, sometimes things happen quicker than you'd expected.
Shortly after posting this blog I discovered that the Minister for Health has submitted a written statement to the House of Commons this morning confirming that the Government have changed their position and will be keeping NHS Professionals in public ownership.
This is a very positive result, I'm pleased to see that common sense has prevailed.