Darzi review: Nurses encouraged to set up not-for-profit bodies

Social enterprises are to be offered contracts of three years or more, to encourage nurses to set up the not-for-profit bodies.

The Darzi review, released today, outlines plans to make it easier for primary care nurses to opt out of the NHS and sell their services back as independent providers.

DoH sources say that one of the barriers to the scheme's success is fears over job security. The new social enterprises will thus be offered multi-year contracts, to make independent contractor status less risky.

The Treasury has also agreed in principle that social enterprise employees will retain their NHS pension rights. Details are currently under discussion.

The plans were revealed in the NHS Workforce Strategy, released today as part of Lord Darzi's New Stage Review.

The document says that SHAs will remain responsible for workforce planning and training of nurses.

Despite concerns that money for training has previously been redirected to other budgets, funding will not be ring fenced. Details of spending will be published, however, so as to pressure SHAs not to cut their training budgets.

The strategy also stated the government's commitment to ‘exploring the possibility of a graduate registered nursing workforce'.

And ‘there will be new education and development opportunities for specialist community public health nurses, including health visitors, to enable them to play a central role in child and family health,' it adds.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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