Government drops part-privatisation plans for NHS Professionals

The UK government has abandoned plans for the part privatisation of NHS Professionals.

In a written ministerial statement, published today, health minister Philip Dunne revealed NHSP, the government’s own recruitment agency responsible for supplying 88,000 doctors and nurses to UK hospitals, will remain publicly owned, after offers to acquire a majority stake in the company “undervalued its growing potential”.

Today’s move from government sees it backtrack on its November 2016 announcement that it would seek to privatise NHSP, and was looking for an investor to take a majority stake in the agency. A tendering process was launched through an advert in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The government concluded that after careful consideration none of the offers received for NHSP reflected its growing potential and improved performance.

Government added that since its decision to seek bidders for NHSP, the agency’s performance had “significantly” improved, with profits for the year ended 31 March 2017 up 44% on the previous year. This improved performance has meant NHSP can invest in improved IT infrastructure, while expanding its services and become a “world class” provider of flexible staff, while remaining publicly owned.

Recruiter contacted outsourcing, training and employability organisation Staffline, who confirmed they had bid for NHSP in July, for comment but nobody was available.

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