To: Jeremy Hunt - Minster for Health

Stop another needless NHS privatisation

Stop another needless NHS privatisation

Please do not allow successful NHS units to be hived off into the hands of profit-driven private sector operators without a very good reason. Ask for a full parliamentary debate about the proposed sell-off of NHS Professionals, demanding to understand the rationale for the proposal, showing the full pro's and con's of proceeding with the plan, and of not proceeding with the plan.

Why is this important?

NHS Professionals is an in-house employment agency for health professionals. All of its profits remain within the NHS. The agency is able to provide staff for significantly less than its commercial competitors, so it contributes to lower costs for the NHS units to which it provides staff.
If this agency is sold off, its rates will have to increase, if only to provide a return for the new owners. Long term, this seems certain to increase financial pressure on the NHS in the form of higher agency costs for vital staff.
The sell-off has been planned for some time, but has hardly hit the radar screen, and negotiations are being conducted now. However, the nature of the contract, the names of the bidders, and projected sale price are all cloaked in commercial confidentiality. It seems entirely possible that the deal could be concluded before Parliament returns after the summer recess, so there will be no opportunity for democratic scrutiny. The public, and Parliament, will be presented with a 'done deal', and the unit's competitors will heave a sigh of relief.