Rachael Maskell MP, implores York Teaching Hospital to follow the latest instruction from NHS Improvement to stop proceeding with the planned transfer of vital NHS staff working in estates, cleaning and catering to new business known as a wholly owned subsidiary.
The NHS staff are due to be transferred on 1 October 2018, but yesterday NHS Improvement called for all such plans to be paused, as they develop new criteria which will then be consulted on. This follows the strongest possible rejection of the Trust’s plans by the staff to be transferred who voted 92% to take strike action in rejection of the proposal.
Trusts sought to transfer their staff and services to wholly owned subsidiary companies to avoid paying VAT, but changes to the way that purchases are made in the NHS have now addressed this issue. At the same time the Trust have addressed some of its internal recruitment challenges, making this deeply unpopular and potentially damaging move no longer necessary. Local Trusts, including Tees, Esk and Wear Valley dropped their plans to transfer NHS staff out of the NHS last week, as have an increasing number of NHS Trusts across the country including Mid Yorks over the summer.
Rachael Maskell MP, met with the Trust before the announcement yesterday to highlight how this was the wrong move. The NHS should not be fragmenting further but should remain as one public service. In the light of a bitter dispute, productivity and morale of staff will be low, whereas the Trust have now been given a real opportunity to turn this situation around and improve the services and make it an attractive place to work and where staff are highly motivated in all that they do.
The MP for York Central has also highlighted how it is the poorest paid who have been picked on to be outsourced from the NHS, and new starters who work across the cleaning and catering departments or who work in maintenance have no guarantee that they will be able to access the NHS pension scheme and staff made redundant would lose their continuity of service.
In the light of this new development the MP for York Central said:
“The planned 48 hour strike at the hospital is completely avoidable. Instead the Trust should take action by heeding to the new instruction by NHS Improvement and address the concerns of staff by halting this move to outsource staff and service. Now that NHS Improvement has clearly stated that NHS trusts must “pause any current plans to create new subsidiaries or change existing subsidiaries”, ahead of a consultation in October, it is clear that York Teaching Hospital has a duty to stop this transfer, and to work with staff and the trade unions to find a lasting solution.”