REC Responds to Health & Social Care Bill

On the REC website Tom Hadley, the Director of Policy & Professional Services, said that “The Health and Social Care Bill constitutes a major shift in thinking. One of the major challenges facing the National Health Service (NHS) over the coming months and years will be managing staff through the changes and developing flexible resourcing models. As part is this, the NHS must harness the contribution of suitably trained and vetted temporary and locum workers. This will ensure that front line services are delivered and will provide crucial support to permanent staff who are already coming under unsustainable pressure. Rather than seeing agency costs as one of the first budget lines to slash, we need to look at ways of enhancing the contribution that recruitment professionals can bring to an increasingly streamlined NHS. The reason that large private sector organisations make use of agency work is that it is an intrinsic part of a modern and cost-effective resourcing strategy. Public sector employers can learn from this. The debate around the Health and Social Care Bill has already attracted stark warnings of declining patient care.  The best way of avoiding this is to have systems and suppliers in place to ensure that the right staff are placed in the right place at the right time. The role that specialised recruitment agencies play in providing this service should be recognised not stigmatised.\”

NHS Reform Plans

Earlier in the week the Coalition Government put forward proposals for legislation that will see, among other things:

  • All 10 Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) abolished
  • All 152 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) abolished
  • General Practitioners (GPs) given responsibility for managing hospital, mental health & community services
  • Patients given more performance related information by a new body called HealthWatch
  • Patients given control of their Medical Records
  • All NHS Trusts achieve Foundation Status by 2013

The abolition of Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts will affect more than 60,000 managers and in their place hundreds of GP consortiums will be created and given the responsibility for much of the £105bn health budget. The bottom up rather than top down reorganisation has been called ‘the most radical change in NHS history’.

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