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Private Sector to be offered Majority Stake in NHS Professionals

The Department of Health is finalising it’s move to privatise NHS Professionals, the in-house and publicly owned agency for NHS Staff, as it searches for a majority private investment.

NHS Professionals is the publicly owned NHS recruitment agency for staff wanting zero-hours or flexible contacts which covers nearly two million shifts a year.

The recent announcement states it would sell off a majority stake in the orgnaisation to the private sector with the aim of “creating a profitable business model”. The Government are set to retain a non-majority share in the organisation to stop it from deviating from its original purpose.

“We are aiming for the appointment of a preferred bidder next summer,” a spokesperson said, but a timescale has yet to be determined.

A tendering process to find what it calls “the right partner” is being launched through an advert in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

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The government has been battling an ever-growing cost of agency staff with the introduction of ‘Framework’ Agencies earlier this year. Losing majority control of the biggest provider in the UK could hit a hard blow to NHS Trusts causing staffing costs to skyrocket.