• Trusts in York and East Kent are preparing to transfer staff on October 1
  • Strikes at both trusts to go ahead next week
  • Trusts believe they are not covered by request for pause

Two NHS trusts are planning to continue with developments of their subsidiary companies – saying a national “pause” does not apply to them.

East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust and York Teaching Hospital FT have both said they will continue with plans which will see hundreds of staff transferring to the new bodies on October 1.

Yesterday, NHS Improvement said trusts should “pause any current plans to create new subsidiaries or change existing subsidiaries” while new guidance is developed.

The trusts have already established the subsidiary companies.

Unite members are planning strikes next week in protest.  Emergency cover will be maintained.

At East Kent, around 850 staff who previously worked for Serco have already been transferred into the new subsidiary. However, the trust is due to transfer another 250 staff whom it currently directly employs on October 1. At York, the staff due to transfer are trust employees.

Both providers said they fall outside the terms of the pause.

In a statement, York FT said: “The pause is in relation to boards who have yet to make a decision to establish a company. Our board made its decision in January and the company was formally registered in March 2018. Furthermore, following the announcement by NHSI, we sought their advice and have been assured that it does not apply to our trust.” East Kent FT also said it was not covered by the request for a pause.

Two trusts have dropped plans to set up subsidiary companies this year and NHSI and the Department of Health and Social Care are understood to want stronger “central oversight” of how and why trusts establish them.

NHSI was contacted for a comment.