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Thursday 06 May 2021

MiP calls for assurances for board-level managers as NHS shake-up looms

By Craig Ryan

MiP has called for NHS England to give assurances and support to board-level managers affected by latest government shake-up of the NHS, after they were excluded from the "employment committment" offered to other staff.

NHS England promised to limit employment changes “as much as possible” and protect terms and conditions for most staff forced to move jobs as a result of the reforms announced in February's white paper Integration and Innovation

But the pledge stops short of guaranteeing there would be no jobs losses and NHS England made clear its promise to protect terms and conditions would not apply to staff at board level.

The reforms will see CCGs absorbed into new statutory Integrated Care System (ICS) bodies, with a single accountable officer for each area. As a result, NHS England  appears reluctant to extend its employment committment to board-level jobs in areas with more than one CCG.

MiP welcomed the employment commitment but called on NHS England and local employers to offer more support to the board level staff leading the implementation of the reforms. 

“Our members in statutory roles will understand the reforms mean there can be only one statutory officer,” said MiP chief executive Jon Restell. “But many senior teams have already gone through the pain of reorganising, with associated job losses, and we expect some reassurance for those staff that they will not lose their jobs, and and will be valued and supported in the valuable work they are doing to bring the new ICSs to life.

“We should be using their talents and experience at this critical time —not putting them at risk of redundancy and making them look for other jobs,” he added.

In a statement on implementing the white paper, NHS England promised to take “a different approach” to the latest reforms—“one that is characterised by care for our people and no distraction from the ‘day job’.”

The statement said: “NHS people within the wider health and care system (below board level) affected directly by these legislative changes, including CCGs, NHSEI and NHS providers, will receive an employment commitment to continuity of terms and conditions (even if not required by law) to enable all affected colleagues to be treated in a similar way despite a variety of contractual relationships.” 

In a letter to local ICS leaders, chief operating officer Amanda Pritchard said NHSE aimed to “make the transition process as smooth as possible for you”. She added: “We are therefore seeking to provide as much stability of employment as possible so that ICSs can use the skills, experience and expertise of our NHS people.” 

NHSE also promised it would “promote best practice in engaging, consulting and supporting the workforce” during the transition and would develop a national framework of HR principles on implementing the reforms.  

  • Please help us to represent you more effectively by taking part in our members' survey on the ICS transition. The survey is open to all managers who think their jobs maybe affected in any way by the reforms. If you have an urgent problem relating to the transition, contact your national officer.

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