NHS services will be a social enterprise

Kingston Primary Care Trust to launch separate provider

A major social enterprise will be created before the end of the year out of a south-west London NHS trust, as part of a drive to change how the NHS is structured.

Kingston Primary Care Trust said it expected to launch a separate provider arm called Your Healthcare, with a turnover of £25m and a staff of 500 nurses, therapists and support staff. These will be transferred from the PCT as soon as it receives permission from NHS London, the capital's strategic health authority.

Your Healthcare will become an independent social enterprise providing a wide range of services, said a spokeswoman for Kingston PCT.

The PCT's remaining 100 employees will continue to work for the trust on more strategic functions.

"The organisation is already operating with a shadow board, awaiting formal confirmation of the new structure," she said. "We've been working towards this since last July and we're expecting final sign-off this year."

Hull PCT has also announced plans to make its provider arm into a community interest company, known as Hull City Health Care Partnership, but it has been delayed by a legal challenge from a patient, who is seeking a judicial review of the decision.

Both decisions were taken in response to a Department of Health decision that PCTs should separate their commissioning and provider arms.

Mark Johnson, managing director of TPP Law, which specialises in social enterprise development, said progress had been less positive in other PCTs. "Many people who would like to develop social enterprises feel they lack support from PCT boards," he said.

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