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).
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.