Nurses should form independent organisations inside the NHS to compete with GP surgeries and provide more services to patients, a report will suggest.
Health minister Lord Darzi will propose that nurse-led organisations offer physiotherapy, diabetes health checks and immunisation programmes on the NHS.
Nurses will be offered the chance to run their own social enterprises for the NHS and could even employ doctors.
Following previous wranglings over pay and conditions, it will also be suggested that the nurses who leave local primary care trusts to run such social enterprises will be able to keep their NHS pensions.
If a PCT agrees to a nurse-led organisation, a new independent NHS organisation would be established to provide services to patients – under contract to the PCT – using NHS resources.
An embattled Gordon Brown, who is trailing in the polls and reeling from a humiliating defeat at the Henley by-election, has backed the plans put forward in the report.
He said: “Building on the success of the foundation trust model in the NHS, which sees a million people actively engaging in the governance of their local hospitals, I believe that over the next decade we will see a growing proportion of our services provided by independent public service providers and social enterprises.”
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“It sounds like an excellent idea. I ran many clinics in my last practice and often without any GP present. This included Independent Prescribing” – Kam Hallett, Coventry