WORKFORCE: NHS London has taken legal advice on whether members of primary care trust staff who are “loaned” to clinical commissioning groups have an unfair advantage when the CCG posts are advertised.

A report on the strategic health authority’s “assignment for transition guidance”, seen by HSJ, reveals: “Concerns were raised that members of staff may be being informally assigned to CCGs within the system and that this could lead to the risk of claims of unfair advantage from employees that do not secure permanent roles later on.”

However, London’s guidance said the assignments did not constitute formal appointment processes but “loans”, covering interim and informal arrangements to help CCGs develop.

Law firm Capsticks, which advised NHS London, concluded that because the SHA’s policy was consistent with Department of Health’s guidance it would have “good protection” from claims.

But Capsticks’ response added: “By assigning staff to CCGs now the PCTs/clusters will be more likely to be in a situation that transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) regulations will apply to those assigned staff when the CCGs are authorised.”

The advice was reported to NHS London’s people transition and organisational development performance and leadership group in November and released under the Freedom of Information Act on 30 December.