An agreement has been reached by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust and the recognised trade unions Unite and UNISON on the next steps of a project to tender for facilities management services at its hospital sites.
While the trust will continue to run the tender process for services currently provided by external contractors, it has been agreed that existing in-house services will no longer be part of that tender.
This means that 72 staff members involved in the provision of catering, portering, logistics and linen services at Hinchingbrooke Hospital will continue to be employed directly by North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.
Graham Wilde, chief operating officer at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have been working closely with the staff involved in providing these services and have listened to their views on how we can provide the best value for money for taxpayers while maintaining the highest quality services for patients.
“As a result of talks with union representatives, facilitated by ACAS, we have reached a position that will see the Trust continue with its current procurement process for currently outsourced services, whilst reaching agreement for the Hinchingbrooke Hospital NHS staff and the services they provide to remain in house, employed by the NHS.
“We will work to the original timetable for announcing our preferred contractor in January 2021 and for services to start in April 2021.
“Thank you to our staff and our Union colleagues for working with us to agree the way forward.”
Sam Hemraj, UNISON representative for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is great news for staff who work at Hinchingbrooke Hospital who will remain in the NHS, where they belong, and be able to continue providing excellent services for patients and staff while on NHS terms and conditions.”