The health union, Unison, has launched a new report into social enterprise schemes in the NHS.
Social enterprise is the government’s latest ploy to extend diversity of provision and competition within the health service.
Unison wants its report to scrutinise these rapid developments in the NHS.
Dave Prentis, Unison’s general secretary, said: “It is possible for a social enterprise to start off with a genuine desire for innovation and to service the needs of the local community, but sustainability is always going to be a problem.
“A newly formed enterprise will have to deal with the finance, management and competitive tendering process, making it ripe for takeover by private companies and big business.”
He adds that social enterprises are at risk of being “swallowed up” by large multinationals.
As social enterprises begin to deliver health services traditionally covered by the NHS, staff pension entitlements and pay will also need to be analysed.