Thursday, 4 September 2014

Anti-social enterprise

We had expected to see an appointment with the school nurse for mid August.
Well as it's September and the schools are back I thought I'd call to find out where the appointment letter was.
When I spoke to the school nurse she sounded defeated and apologetic.  Apparently in June the work of school nurses had been put out to tender and the NHS lost the tender.
The contract has been given to a Social Enterprise.  Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment.  They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community.  And so when they profit, society profits. Apparently.
Well this Social Enterprise couldn't guarantee any salary or terms and conditions for the excellent school nurse we've been dealing with, so she has felt, that after 25 years of experience in school nursing, she needs to find a new job.  Most of the colleagues have felt the same and most are leaving, or have left.  In  fact, at the end of this week, at the beginning of a new school term when demand is at its highest, there will be nobody covering school nursing in this area and there won't be until the Social Enterprise starts on October 1st.
The missing appointment wasn't missing at all.  All clinics were stopped soon after the outsourcing decision on the instruction of Trust managers.  Letters to patients (or their parents) were supposed to have been sent but I can vouch for the fact they haven't been.
And when I call to speak to the NHS Trust responsible nobody picks up the phone.
But the NHS isn't being privatised at all.  Is it.

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