Scale of NHS staff transfer to private sector revealed

The scale of the transfer of NHS nursing staff to independent sector providers in recent years has been revealed in new figures.

At least 17,000 staff, mostly clinical workers, have moved since 2010, according to revised workforce statistics published by Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The organisation, soon to be renamed NHS Digital, said the shift was largely down to transfers prompted by two government policies, both of which particularly affected community services.

The first was the Transforming Community Services initiative, which forced primary care trusts to divest themselves of their provider services, by either joining them with existing trusts, forming independent trusts or social enterprises, or passing them to private providers. Most of these transfers took place in 2011.

The second policy deemed to have brought about the shift was “any qualified provider”, which was pushed as a way of opening up some primary and community services to competition by the Department of Health between 2011 and 2013.

Full story in Nursing Times 24 May 2016