There are large changes happening in the scenes behind the work I do.
I work for a Primary Care Trust. They organise local health care and they also provide it.
Now this is the source of the problem.
The thought from up high is that there’s a conflict of interest here. How can the people who spend the money also provide the services? Isn’t this unfair on alternative service providers?
The plan is to allow any group to tender for NHS work – IE private companies too.
So they’ve decided already that the commissioning arm of the PCT will have to separate from the provider arm. This will happen before next April.
So my employer will change in the next year.
The most favoured option is for us to become a “Social Enterprise”. NB this means us physios specifically, not the PCT providers as a whole.
In other words a kind of private company. In other other words, not NHS.
If this happens then the people who do the actual work will NOT be NHS staff. However the bureaucrats who organise what services get commissioned WILL be NHS staff.
I wonder how well that will sit with the general public. The cry already is that the NHS has too many managers. What about when the entirety of the local NHS trust is management and admin but no actual healthcare workers?
Ah well what do I know?
The issue for most staff is the terms and conditions of employment. About the only material benefits of NHS work are steady work and a decent pension. If I saw the number of patients privately that I see now then my salary would probably be about 3 times what I get now, but not as good a pension. If I get made to go private and thus lose the pension then I want the benefits of going private.
Can you imagine the hassle trying to hire good, experienced staff? There’s no way unless we can match existing salary and benefits.
So in conclusion: another round of changes done purely for the hell of it, wasting huge amounts of money on an unnecessary scheme which paves the way for privatisation, staff loss, staff morale declining, and which may well change some time next year when the tories get in (not that they’re going to be too fussed about the breakup of the NHS – last I saw they weren’t hostile to the idea of giving their old school mates lots of money – err “privatisation” sorry).
I do wonder why this hasn’t been in the news yet.