Monday, April 8, 2019

News: Rotherham NHS subsidiary talks halted


Rotherham Hospital bosses have shelved plans to form an NHS subsidiary company.

Rothbiz reported in October on consultants, Grant Thornton, being awarded a contract for support in setting up a Wholly Owned Subsidiary Business of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.

Under severe financial pressure, some NHS trusts in England are seeking to save money by creating wholly owned subsidiaries, also known as subcos, companies to deliver services, including facilities and estates. Unions have called the move, "backdoor privatisation" and warned that trusts use the subcos to employ staff without NHS terms and conditions.

NHS Improvement, the national regulator, ordered a temporary stop asking trusts to "pause any current plans to create new subsidiaries or change existing subsidiaries" adding that it will consult on a new regulatory approach in October and issue new guidance.

Having helped organise meetings between hospital staff, union representatives and the Trust's chief executive and chair to outline their concerns, local MP, John Healey says that the plans have now been shelved.


John Healey, Wentworth and Dearne MP, said: "I welcome the decision by Rotherham NHS Foundation trust to call a halt to the proposals, it is sound sense for our hospital services and staff who work there.

"It's thanks to the hard work of NHS staff and unions who, together with MPs, have forced the hospital board to think again on the plans which had the potential to create a two-tier workforce.

"The fact that hospitals are even having to consider such complicated schemes to save money shows how stretched NHS finances have become."

Lynn Monk, branch secretary of UNISON Rotherham Health said: "The UNISON branch are very grateful for the support we received from John as well as the wider public of Rotherham in opposing the transfer of staff to the Wholly Owned Subsidiary.

"They realised that it would undermine the staff pay and pensions but importantly could have resulted in the wholesale transfer of many more staff out of the NHS, privatisation by the back door.

"UNISON members stood firm against it,‎ bolstered by the support from John and his colleagues."

Rotherham NHS Trust website

Images: Rotherham NHS Trust


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