Nearly 40 Middlesbrough hospital staff were told two days before Christmas that their jobs are being “outsourced” to Lancashire.
The shock news has left workers reeling in the payroll department at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Trust chiefs say the review of financial services is part of a programme to save £90m over three years – “that will eventually touch all areas of the organisation”.
From April, 2015 services provided by the trust’s payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable teams will move to East Lancashire Financial Services, part of Calderstone Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Over the last three months the 37 full and part-time staff in those teams have had weekly meetings with managers about the review.
They received confirmation yesterday of the trust board’s decision to move the services to another NHS provider.
Staff effected will be subject to TUPE transfer, under which they would keep certain employment rights, to East Lancashire Financial Services, say the trust.
But chief executive, Professor Tricia Hart said:
“The board recognises that moving may not be a viable option for some staff.
“In those cases the trust will work with individual staff members to look for alternative roles at South Tees, in line with the trust’s policies.”
She added: “It is never a good time to make decisions that have a major impact on lives of staff, and we would not normally want to make such an announcement so close to Christmas.
“However in our discussions with staff over the last three months they have made it clear they wanted to know about any decision on the future of their services as soon as it was made.
“We will now be working on the detail of the contract with East Lancashire Financial Services over the coming months, and during that period we will support the staff affected by the change, having one-to-one discussions with individuals as well as team meetings to keep them up to date with details of the outsourcing process.”
Prof Hart said, in making the decision, the board “did give detailed consideration to a proposal put forward by staff to keep the services in-house, but unfortunately it did not offer the same benefits as the outsourcing option.”
A staff member said:
“We are mad that jobs are going from Teesside. Our area suffers enough and it’s the knock-on effect for our families.
“It’s only two days before Christmas.
“There’s a TUPE situation, but they will probably do that to get out of paying us redundancies.
“People are not going to take their families to East Lancashire.
“It’s been in the pipeline since early September – and they’ve waited until now to tell us officially.
“We said we could match them, so it wouldn’t cost any more and they wouldn’t outsource but they’ve gone for outsourcing.
“They haven’t treated us fairly. Everyone is really upset, especially when you see the big wigs getting their salary increases, then staff losing their jobs the next week.”
The trust says the outsourcing option will also free up space at The James Cook University Hospital to allow IT staff to move back on site from Eggleston Court in Middlesbrough, saving money on rented accommodation.
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 24 Dec 2014
> So far its only individuals who are reaching the point of no return. How long before whole sectors of society blow up ?
A father of four children threatened to ‘blow up’ his own home yesterday (4 June 2014) as he faced eviction due to the government’s controversial ‘bedroom tax’ housing policy.
52 year-old Michael Hilton from Church, East Lancashire, had been living in his social home for 30 years before being ‘hounded’ by his social landlord, Hyndburn Homes, to cover the shortfall in his rent since September 2013.
Mr Hilton was told that he would have to contribute toward the cost of his rent because a spare bedroom in his home was not being used, even though his children sometimes occupied the bedroom when they came to visit.
Bailiffs reported the incident to the police who arrived at the property with six cars, two police vans, police dogs, a riot van and two fire engines.
Mr Hilton’s distressed wife and son, Johnny, looked from behind police barriers as Michael barricaded himself in the property and refused to leave.
Onlookers soon gathered at the scene with one witness saying: “It’s the government this is. They are putting these taxes on vulnerable and poor people and look what happens.”
Another onlooker told the Lancashire Telegraph: “It’s been his home for 30 years. It’s a bit extreme but no-one would want to be thrown out like that”.
A police negotiator was sent to the house to try to convince Mr Hilton to leave the property voluntarily. However, police say that a decision was eventually reached to force entry into the house and detain Mr Hilton.
Mr Hilton’s 29 year-old son Johnny, said: “I knew something like this was going to happen. He has been hounded to pay bedroom tax since September last year.
“My dad has four children altogether and, sometimes, they stay here with him.
“In the eyes of the council, he has a spare room but, from his point of view, that’s a bedroom for his kids.
“I have even tried to speak to the council myself and try to sort it out. I called them last week and told them that my dad has mental health problems. He thinks he’s being persecuted.”
“He has been driven to this and I think that he feels like he is making a stand for everyone that has been faced with the unfair bedroom tax. I am very worried about him.”
Nigel Fenton, managing director of Hyndburn Homes, said:
“Any repossession of a tenant’s home is always an absolute last resort and would only happen after we have repeatedly attempted to resolve the issues and help them.
“We always try to support our tenants and assist them in any way that we can. We would always urge our tenants to discuss problems with us so that we can provide our support.
“Staff from Hyndburn Homes were at the scene and worked with the emergency services to ensure the safety of residents in the area.
“We have been made aware of gas cylinders at the rear of the property and we have been working with officers from the council to resolve this matter.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said:
“We were very concerned as there was a suggestion that there was petrol inside the property and we had also heard reports that he had a large number of gas canisters with him.
“We sent a negotiator in to reason with him but eventually, a decision was taken to enter the house and detain the man.”
Source – Welfare News Service, 05 June 2014