Have any Trusts moved their Renal technical services into a wholly owned subsidiary?
Our estates and facilities department (to whom we are attached even though the entirety of our work is for the Renal Unit, satellites and home patients) are in the process of transferring us into a new company.
Verbally we're told "everything will remain the same" but there are very real fears about the future and our ability to function effectively under the new arrangement.
Any thoughts as to the pros and cons of this change from anyone who has been through the process?
As far as I'm aware Kings is the only 1 where Renal Technicians have been affected and a few including I think Sunderland where the exercise was cancelled due to imminent strike action by those affected.
Very interesting article that Chris.
My wife works at one of the ones mentioned (Wrightington) and it was only after several strikes that the local council found money from somewhere to be able to shelve the plans... for how long though!
"The national regulator has today told NHS trusts to “pause” any ongoing plans to set up subsidiary companies and wait for new guidance to be issued.
NHS Improvement has issued a short statement on its website asking providers to pause plans to create new subsidiaries or change existing ones.
It said it will be issuing national guidance following a consultation on a new regulatory approach to subsidiary companies, which is due to launch next month.
Earlier this year, HSJ revealed thousands of non-clinical NHS staff were due to be transferred into subsidiaries at trusts across the country. This drew heavy criticism from unions and Labour politicians, which have accused trusts of seeking to exploit a VAT loophole.
In July, the Department of Health and Social Care issued guidance which said regulators would ensure that subsidiaries were not being established “for the sole purpose tax avoidance”.
Two strikes have already been planned at hospitals planning subsidiary companies this month, while some trusts have recently shelved their plans."
There's an update on HSJ,2 Trusts York and East Kent are going ahead anyway despite the hold and strike action:
"Two NHS trusts are planning to continue with developments of their subsidiary companies – saying a national “pause” does not apply to them.
East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust and York Teaching Hospital FT have both said they will continue with plans which will see hundreds of staff transferring to the new bodies on October 1.
Yesterday, NHS Improvement said trusts should “pause any current plans to create new subsidiaries or change existing subsidiaries” while new guidance is developed.
The trusts have already established the subsidiary companies.
Unite members are planning strikes next week in protest. Emergency cover will be maintained.
At East Kent, around 850 staff who previously worked for Serco have already been transferred into the new subsidiary. However, the trust is due to transfer another 250 staff whom it currently directly employs on October 1. At York, the staff due to transfer are trust employees.
Both providers said they fall outside the terms of the pause.
In a statement, York FT said: “The pause is in relation to boards who have yet to make a decision to establish a company. Our board made its decision in January and the company was formally registered in March 2018. Furthermore, following the announcement by NHSI, we sought their advice and have been assured that it does not apply to our trust.” East Kent FT also said it was not covered by the request for a pause.
Two trusts have dropped plans to set up subsidiary companies this year and NHSI and the Department of Health and Social Care are understood to want stronger “central oversight” of how and why trusts establish them.
I don't think for a minute these subsidiary companies are being set up for tax saving purposes, it's all tax payer funded so the net saving for the government/NHS England is zero. The savings will only come from reduced pay bill through changes to terms and conditions, which are easier to make when dealing with small groups of 'back room' staff than the whole NHS, including patient facing staff.