Around 1,100 staff at a teaching trust, including many employed by Serco, are to transfer into a new NHS owned company this summer.
The new organisation will take on 850 cleaning, catering, switchboard and portering staff who work for Serco at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust sites, after the company agreed to exit its contract a year early.
They will be joined by 250 NHS staff working on estates, procurement and facilities.
The staff will be employed by a limited company operated by the trust. The trust describes this as a “social enterprise” but has not given details of how it will differ from other subsidiary companies owned by trusts.
All staff transferring will have their terms and conditions protected under TUPE regulations. The new company, which will be wholly owned by the NHS, plans to begin trading from 1 August.
Trust chief executive Susan Acott said: “Many of the staff who are transferring from Serco used to work directly for East Kent Hospitals so it’s great that they will be more closely connected to the trust again. This is a slightly different set up than some trusts in that most of the staff transferring into the new organisation are coming from the private sector.
“These teams are very proud to support the NHS and the care it gives its patients.”
Wendy Sinclair, Serco’s contract director, added: “We are very proud of what we have achieved in partnership with the trust in some challenging circumstances and pleased to be able to handover a safe and successful service. Working together, we have significantly improved the cleanliness and feel of East Kent Hospitals and provided award winning patient catering services. I would like to thank our staff for all their hard work and wish them every success for the future. We will be working closely with the trust to ensure a smooth transfer for all concerned and minimise any impact on service.”