News Focus

The three pilot sites undertaking work on a model for transferring NHS staff to private companies, as part of private finance initiative schemes, are likely to get the go-ahead to restart work imminently, after a hiatus of several months, HSJ has learnt.

The three sites, Stoke Mandeville Hospital trust, Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals trust and South West London Community trust, have had their work on hold following a government decision, shortly after the election, to suspend the process.

This followed pressure from the unions to clarify issues relating to the pay, pensions and conditions of transferred staff.

Following progress on legal advice, ministers were due to write to Unison within days. A Department of Health spokesperson said the legal decisions 'have progressed well' and the union was about to be told of the conclusions .

It is understood the legal advice will give the go-ahead for the trusts to develop the transfer of staff model which allows them to remain part of the NHS while working for a private company, the so-called secondment model.