Community staff worried about employment changes

Community staff are concerned the Transforming Community Services reforms could mean they no longer work for the NHS, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Mr Catton: respect the individual choices of community services staff
Mr Catton: respect the individual choices of community services staff

RCN head of policy Howard Catton said the college had received consistent feedback from nurses affected by the changes who say they had made a choice to work for the NHS and feel very strongly that they want this to continue.

He said: ‘This is an important issue for staff. They have made a choice about where they want to work and its important that this is acknowledged and included in the debate about future organisational models.'

Mr Catton said this was not about nurses being anti-privatisation or anti-independent sector, it was about respecting the individual choices of community services staff. He said staff didn't want to be transferred to another employer without any consultation.

He said: ‘If the only options are those where staff will have to change their employers, and the staff don't have a choice about that, then it causes a reaction and potentially makes the change process more difficult.'

A recent investigation by Independent Nurse revealed around 6% of PCTs are looking to convert their provider arms into community foundation trusts, and the same number may turn them into social enterprises.

Around 39% of PCTs are yet to make a decision on the best way forward.

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