GMB Welcome The Scrapping Of Interserve Contract With Leicestershire Hospitals 4 Years Early
NHS Trusts must learn lessons from this failed contract says GMB.
GMB, the union for NHS workers, welcome the decision to end the £300m contract to manage all NHS buildings and catering, maintenance and support services for University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and NHS Property Services.
The 7 year catering and cleaning contract which started in March 2013 has not been without its difficulties. In June 2015 University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust had noted a decline in cleaning standards with the introduction of combined cleaning and catering roles where cleaners were required to heat up patients’ meals. The Trust ordered Interserve to return to previous cleaning methods after issuing a compliance notice for failing to meet required standards.
Over 2,000 staff were transferred to Interserve who brought in zero hour contracts, altered shift patterns and made staff redundant. It was yet another example of profit before patients.
The contract will end on 30 April 2016 with staff transferring back to the NHS on or around 1 May 2016.
Colin Whyatt, GMB Regional Organiser, said “This contract had been troubled from the start and has ruined people's lives. Some have been off with work related stress and others have been incorrectly paid for years. It is devastating for them.
There is still a lot to be sorted out but good news Interserve has lost the contract. I hope the trust has learnt its lesson."
Contact: Colin Whyatt on 07966 327971 or Les Dobbs on 07966 327967 or Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251823 or 07970863411
Notes to Editors
1. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is one of the biggest NHS Trusts in the country serving the one million residents of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Hospitals include Leicester General Hospital, Glenfield Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary.
2. Leicestershire NHS Trusts issued a joint statement with Interserve on 8 February 2016 stating:
Interserve plc, University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and NHS Property Services have today announced that the current contracts to provide estates and facilities management services will expire earlier than the original contract term.
The original contracts were designed over five years ago and though they have delivered the intended savings it has become apparent that the contracts are no longer appropriate to the needs of the Trusts today. As a result, Interserve and the Trusts have agreed to bring the contracts to an end on 30th April 2016, with staff transferring to the NHS under TUPE regulations on or around 1st May, which will allow the Trusts greater flexibility through self-delivery of services. The services will continue to be provided by existing staff on current terms and conditions transferring from Interserve to the NHS.
Interserve remains a committed partner to the Trusts and its construction arm will continue to work with the Trust in the programme of modernisation and transformation, for example the new Emergency Department at the Royal Infirmary.
The Trusts and Interserve would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of the Interserve staff and to thank them for their efforts over the past three years.