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Privatisation - Promises broken


It was always claimed that the reason for transferring staff out of the NHS was to ensure that private sector management could be brought in. It appears that the real reason is to take NHS pensions out. NHS workers who have been transferred in this way will now no longer have the protection that they would have had.

Over ten years ago trade unions grappling with the transfer of health workers into the private sector claimed a signal victory as they secured a concession from the government for the “Retention of Employment” (ROE) model.

This has been used as a means of squeezing out of the NHS many workers who might otherwise have fought harder to remain within – but now the Department of Health has effectively barred many health service employees from the NHS pension scheme, which was a feature of these retention of employment arrangements.

The Department of Health has written to chief executives of NHS organisations saying there should only be two specific groups of workers who would be included under these scheme: staff in independent sector treatment centres, and a small subset of staff in Private Finance Initiative schemes. The result: many of the other workers who have been transferred under ROE schemes will now be barred from having an NHS pension.