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University Hospitals of Leicester

Formal grievance lodged over outsourcing plans

WORKFORCE: Unison has lodged a formal grievance against University Hospitals of Leicestershire Trust following its decision to outsource transcriptions to India and downband medical secretaries.

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The largest health sector union claims the trust has carried out a flawed consultation and breached its own procedures.

The trust plans to outsource medical transcription services to India from June and downband medical secretaries.

Carol Brown Unison regional organiser said: “The trust has not consulted meaningfully with the medical secretaries affected and there has been a clear breach of procedure. It appears that in an attempt to accelerate sending work out of the UK the trust have disregarded this basic legal obligation to their staff.

“Unison members have decided enough is enough and in an attempt to save their positions and the public’s confidential data, they have been left with no option than to lodge a formal grievance laying out their concerns.

“Medical secretaries are not militant people and haven’t taken this decision lightly but they know that the decisions being made by the trust are not about patient care and what is best for the people of Leicestershire, it is instead about cost efficiencies which as a consequence of bad financial management by the trust and the ruthless cuts being made to the NHS by the coalition Government.”

Nigel Kee, divisional manager for planned care at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “It’s disappointing Unison feel the need to lodge a formal grievance with us over something we truly believe will see us providing a better service to our patients and local GP’s.

“Using external organisations to transcribe letters is not something new for the NHS and we have looked to learn lessons from those who’ve already been through this process.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • I am sceptical about the true savings that come from outsourcing this type of service to India, when compared with what could be achieved if the process was properly designed and effectively managed in the UK, using a combination of trust based secretaries with technology such as voice recognition.

    Eirther way, the status quo is arcane and poor value for tax payers

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • MedSecs are, in my experience, very knoweldgable and a great asset to a Trust. Locally, we have worked with over 100 who have themselves redesigned their work - removing and/or automating those aspects which could be done better another way and which frustrate them personally. It does not have to be a battle.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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