Fifteen more NHS groups choose to become independent

Announcement on same day that Kingston PCT is converted into a £25m social enterprise

The government has announced that 15 more NHS organisations will take part in the "right to request" scheme, which allows workers to convert the services they deliver into independent social enterprises.

It comes on the same day that another social enterprise, Your Healthcare, is launched by Kingston  primary care trust in Surrey, which has turned its entire front-line provision into a £25m social enterprise.

Sixteen other social enterprises have been created through the "right to request" programme this year. They include a PCT in Hull that has taken the same path as Kingston and created an independent provider arm, which it has registered as a community interest company, and another in Medway, which is currently going through the same process.

Paul Burstow, minister for care services, said: "NHS staff have the local knowledge on how resources can best be used and I want to put them in the driving seat.

"We want to empower millions of public sector workers to become their own boss and help them to deliver better services. There is still an opportunity for front-line PCT workers to be part of the next wave of the scheme in the autumn."

The NHS trusts involved in the latest round of "right to request" are: Northamptonshire, Brent, Ealing, Knowsley, Salford, Bristol, Devon, Somerset, Swindon, Birmingham East and North, Bradford & Airedale, Leeds, North East Lincolnshire, and Rotherham.

NHS staff interested in delivering services through social enterprise should contact the Department of Health social enterprise unit at social.enterprise@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

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