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Headline

Calderdale school nurse contract transfers from trust to social enterprise

Comment

Nurses have perfectly legitimate personal interests in these developments, such as implications for pay. I suggest that the Profession also has a wider responsibility with regard to policy. There is a range of complex questions here, not least the structure of terms and conditions. Is this social enterprise classed as 'NHS' in government statistics, or does it represent privatization? More and more services are being transferred to CICs - are these still 'NHS'? Do the contractual arrangements require nurses qualified to NHS standards? Do European regulations (and trade agreements with the US) mean that contracts with CICs must be opened up to wider competition in future? Since CICs are private companies, what are the implications for standards, sharing patient information, Information Governance, service accreditation (and continuing recognition by NHS employers, including GPs). What about training, qualification and pay structures in the longer term? Is it legitimate for the NHS/government to subsidize training of staff in privately owned CICs? I am not aware of anyone who has answers to these questions yet. If you have, please let us know! CICs may provide the innovations that the NHS needs, but they may also be the Trojan horse that breaks the NHS into pieces; there is a vital need for open debate on this before we go further. The public we serve does not understand the implications because they have not been given the information - that is no less than a failure by politicians (of all colors) to follow democratic process. There is an important principle here for NHS and Local Authority Officers - politicians are avoiding public debate on changes like this because they are frightened of public reaction. Any 'bureaucrats' (to use Mr Cameron's expletive) who are complicit in their pretenses can expect the blame if (when?) it goes wrong. It is vital that the public becomes more informed and engaged. A failure by those responsible for planning and contracts to ensure this happens is simply that - a failure, to serve the public properly. NB - for Nursing Times - please include a British-English spell checker in this facility!

Posted date

9 April, 2015

Posted time

9:53 am

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