Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Nurses given 'right to provide' through social enterprise

  • Comment

The government has failed to clarify whether nurses that set up new “social enterprise” schemes will able to keep their NHS pension.

Ministers last week announced a fresh drive to encourage nurses and other clinical staff to take over the services they provide and form independent not-for-profit organisations that contract with the NHS.

However, the government announcement gave no detail on whether nurses transferring to such schemes – either at their inception or after they were established – would be able to retain their NHS pensions.

This issue proved a major obstacle to the success of the previous government’s “right to request” social enterprise scheme for community services, which had little uptake, and has potentially become more complex given the recent review of public sector pensions by Lord Hutton (news, page 3, 13 March).

A DH spokesman told Nursing Times the government “will be clarifying arrangements regarding the NHS pension in due course”.

The coalition’s new social enterprise initiative, called “right to provide”, will apply to parts of the NHS beyond community services.

Queen’s Nursing Institute director Rosemary Cook said it was good that nurses who wanted to become more involved in running services were able to. But she said: “Professionals are very clear that this is their livelihood – they’re concerned about job security and pensions.

“In community services, nurses have found they don’t have the basic business or finance skills they need to set up and run a social enterprise,” she added.

The most well known existing example of a social enterprise scheme is Central Surrey Health, which was created by community nurses in 2006.

Have you signed our petition to ensure nurses have a seat on consortia boards? Follow @Aseatontheboard on twitter follow for all the latest campaign news!

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.