UNISON welcomes government U-turn on selling NHS staffing agency

Selling off NHS Professionals would have been ‘completely counterproductive and bad for patients and staff,’ union says

UNISON has welcomed the government’s U-turn on plans to sell off NHS Professionals (NHSP), the publicly-owned NHS staffing agency in England.

Over the summer UNISON staff and activists combined with the We Own It campaign group to petition and lobby MPs, civil servants and the National Audit Office.

The result has been hailed as a public sector success story, in allowing NHS trusts to avoid private sector agencies and ensuring that staff are employed on NHS pay and conditions.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “The government has at last seen sense. NHS Professionals is an organisation that saves the health service money and ensures there are enough staff on wards.

“Selling off NHS Professionals would have been completely counterproductive and bad for patients and staff.”

Ms Gorton added: “Despite many warnings, ministers have once again gone through a pointless exercise, wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash.

“Instead of filling the pockets of management consultants, this money could have been better spent improving services for patients.”