NHS Professionals is an organisation in the United Kingdom that supplies temporary staff to the National Health Service (NHS). It manages temporary staff banks on behalf of more than 65 NHS Trusts across England.
The concept of NHS Professionals, an NHS-owned solution to the growing issue of temporary workforce requirements, was first introduced in 2001 by the Minister of State for Health. By 2003 the NHS Professionals service was being provided via four main host trusts and there was significant variation between them in terms both of activity and performance. To combat this, NHS Professionals was established as a Special Health Authority (SpHA) on 1 April 2004, a nationally branded managed service for temporary staff in the NHS. NHS Professionals underwent further reorganisation to improve its service and in 2010 it was dissolved as a Special Health Authority and became NHS Professionals Ltd, a company wholly owned by the Secretary of State for Health in April 2010. The head office is in Watford, Hertfordshire, supported by a small finance team located in Tingley, Yorkshire as well as a client relationship team based both remotely and on-site at client trusts around the country. It announced its first ever surplus/profits in August 2010, and it continues to generate a surplus.
In April 2011, Stephen Dangerfield was announced as the chief executive of NHS Professionals. He has been with NHS Professionals since 2007, originally as Director of Operations and then as Chief Operating Officer. Robin Williams is chairman of NHS Professionals. He has extensive experience having worked in corporate finance, outsourcing, support services, manufacturing, contracting and construction, IT systems and managed services. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a graduate engineer.
Primarily it serves the needs of the NHS by offering NHS Trusts temporary staffing solutions as a managed service. It also serves the temporary working needs of healthcare professionals who work in the NHS.
The company works in partnership with NHS trusts supporting their workforce strategy by improving the quality of their temporary workforce. As a managed bank service, NHS Professionals takes over the day-to-day management of the Trust bank to help control demand for additional hours, minimise agency expenditure and improve compliance of temporary staff.
NHS Professionals gives staff the opportunity to work flexible hours at their convenience, across various trusts. It claims to be the NHS's largest temporary staff bank workforce with 40,000 on its books. Members of the NHS Professionals’ bank workforce are referred to as flexible workers. This refers to their flexible working patterns and contracts of engagement which contrasts with permanently employed trust staff.
Bank workers have access to the following benefits:
- Competitive weekly pay
- First choice of available shifts
- Paid annual leave
- Statutory maternity and paternity and sick pay (subject to qualifying criteria)
- Access to NHS Professionals' very own pension scheme called ‘NHSP Stakeholder pension’
- Free training and development opportunities
NHS Professionals employs a wide variety of healthcare staff including: General and specialist nurses, care support workers (healthcare assistants), doctors, midwives, administrative and clerical, allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.
Administrative and clerical workers need to have relevant skills and experience to join the workforce. All doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants are required to have at least six months' experience within the last two years in the UK and at an NHS hospital.
In October 2014 Sky News said ministers were examining the future of NHS Professionals, saying the agency’s sale, at an estimated price of between £50 million and £100 million, was “a very real possibility”.
Elements of service
- Complaints and incident management system
- Clinical governance management
- Flexible worker HR management
- Client relationship management
- 24/7 national Service Centre
- Agency Partnership Programme
- EU Nursing Programme
- eRoster Consultancy service
- Care Support Worker Development Programme
- "NHS Professionals Achieves Profitability". www.nhsprofessionals.nhs.uk. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- "NHS Professionals appoints new CEO". www.nhsprofessionals.nhs.uk. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- "New Chair to lead the company as it enters the second year". NHS Property Services Ltd. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- "Spending on private ambulances has risen by 82% in two years". Independent. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.