Department of Health ‘secretly privatising NHS Professionals’
DEPARTMENT of Health bosses are planning to privatise a temp agency for NHS medics and support staff, it was reported yesterday.
News channel Russia Today revealed that Deloitte had been hired to work out “the particulars” for flogging off NHS Professionals.
Two separate sources “close to the deal” met the makers of RT’s Going Underground, confirming a sale was in the pipeline, but it depends on “political timing,” said senior producer Olga Masalkova.
Jeremy Hunt’s department is still deciding whether to sell off the whole body or retain a small stake, said Ms Masalkova.
Recruitment company Odgers Berndtson — chaired by Tory former health secretary Virginia Bottomley, who also held Mr Hunt’s South West Surrey seat before 2005 — is believed to be going through the legal stages in order to make a bid.
RT told the Star: “On the company’s website they have a number of top-level NHS executive jobs advertised.
“This means that this private, for-profit company, has a say in matters of the health service, and will be collecting a hefty commission from the placement of these jobs.”
In 2015, NHS Professionals made an £8 million profit (up 43 per cent on the year before) after a massive £3.3 billion was spent in the same year on stand-in doctors, nurses and admin staff.
The profits have been invested back in the NHS, but this will not happen once the agency is snapped up by privateers.
The DoH, unaware that Going Underground had met sources and seen emails relating to the potential deals, has denied the claim that it is considering the sell-off.
Deloitte has been used in past privatisations such as Royal Mail and the DoH said that having the finance firm on board does not mean a decision has been made to sell the agency.
A DoH spokesperson told the Star: “Our work with Deloitte is ongoing and no final decisions have been made — we are examining a range of options to identify the best solution for the NHS Professionals.”
NHS Employers did not respond to the Star’s request for comment.