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NHS Commissioning Board quango struggling to recruit staff

The health quango that will be tasked with spending a third of the NHS budget is struggling to recruit staff, it has admitted.NHS Commissioning Board quango struggling to recruit staffThe NHS Commissioning Board had to make the admission in its ‘risk register’ of potential problems.

It warned: “There is a risk that the NHS Commissiong Board may fail to populate its organisational structure by March 2013.”

This is when the NHS CB is supposed to become active.

As well as being directly responsible for some £30 billion of spending a year, it will also oversee local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), that are responsible for much of the remaining spend.

According to reports, a recent drive to find nine ‘local team directors’, each on a salary of £140,000, has so far failed to attract the right quality candidates.

Kieran Walshe, professor of health policy at Manchester Business School, claimed that potential directors were currently staying away, perhaps due to continued uncertainty over the future structure.

He said of potential applicants: “They are often older, run pretty big organisations and the fact is they don’t want to be three rungs down the ladder in some outpost answering to the commissioning board.”

The risk register also concedes trade unions could hold up the recruitment process as they “may challenge elements of the transition process”.

Some 150 primary care trusts and 10 strategic health authorities are being scrapped to make way for the new structure, leading to the loss of thousands of posts.

An NHS CB spokesman said: “Setting up a new organisation is a complex task and it is inevitable there will be risk in that. The critical thing is that we recognise and manage that risk.”

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