NHS England

UNISON is the lead negotiator among the new NHS bodies following the reorganisation of the service in England following the passing of the Health and Social Care Act.

Clinical Commissioning Groups

UNISON’s role: There is no central negotiating forum for clinical commissioning groups, or CCGs, but UNISON is working locally with the 211 group where good relationships exist.

UNISON and Managers in Partnership (MiP) are approaching NHS England to get some consistent HR advice to CCGs, as many do not directly employ HR professionals instead getting their advice from Commissioning Support Units.

Many CCGs have entered into recognition agreements and see the positive value of partnership working for staff and improved patient outcomes.

What they do: CCGs have been created to be free from central control and attempt to put the decision making into the hands of local GPs and clinicians.

Commissioning Support Units

UNISON’s role: UNISON is the lead negotiator at the Commissioning Support Units national partnership forum which deals with the 19 CSUs on the impact of “externalisation”, policy formation and collective bargaining.

UNISON has strong partnership links with CSUs through many local partnership forums, often involving the local CCG network as well.

What they do: CSUs, as their name suggests provide support services – payroll, finance, human resources, etc – to clinical commissioning groups. They also provide what are know as “transformational services” such as the development of new care pathways.

CSUs were not part of the Health and Social Care Act and will be “externalised” in 2016 – in other words, they will not be controlled and owned by NHS England. At the moment, CSUs get their funding from CCGs and are being encouraged to create joint ventures with private, charitable and voluntary sector providers.

NHS England (formally the NHS Commissioning Board)

UNISON’s role: UNISON is the lead union in the NHS England national partnership forum and is working closely with the employer to encourage membership of a trade union as well as embed partnership working in NHS England’s local and regional area teams.

The organisation is undergoing significant reorganisation in its primary care support department and we are looking at ways to encourage representatives to become active.

What they do: The main aim of NHS England is to improve the health outcomes for people in England. It has a role to encourage patient and public participation in the NHS.

Health Education England

UNISON’s role: UNISON is the lead union in the national partnership forum, which considers staff terms and conditions but also has influence in the education and training of members in other sectors.

What they do: Health Education England is designed to provide leadership and oversight for the planning and development of the health and public health workforce, and to allocate education and training resources. Local education and training boards will work with Health Education England at the local level “to improve the quality of education and training outcomes”.

NHS Trust Development Authority

UNISON’s role: UNISON and MiP work together on the NHS Trust Development Authority joint negotiating forum.

What it does: The trust development authority is a new organisation that was formed to develop NHS trusts towards foundation trust (status. It is expected to be in operation until 2016 when all English trusts are expected to become foundation trusts or be merged with existing foundation trusts.

Public Health England

UNISON’s role: UNISON is involved in the national partnership forum for this newly created civil sService employer

What it does: Responsibility for public health transferred from primary care trusts to the 151 top tier English local authorities in April 2013.Public Health England was set up to focus on major health threats, such as a national flu pandemic, and act as a “knowledge bank.

NHS Property Services Ltd

UNISON’s role: UNISON is leading on the national partnership forum.

What it does: NHS Property Services Ltd has been set up to manage the primary care trust estate and has taken over property such as primary care centres, clinics, community hospitals and offices. It is a public limited company solely owned by the secretary of state for health which means that it is not an NHS Employer.

Health and Social Care Information Centre

UNISON’s role: UNISON is the lead union in the HSCIC joint negotiating committee.

What it does: This is a new national IT organisation set up to take collect, analyse and presenting national health and social care data. It is also responsible for setting up and managing national IT systems for transferring, collecting and analysing data.

Related links

Managers in Partnership (MiP)
MiOI is a joint venture between UNISON and the FDA. MiP works closely with UNISON colleagues to promote and defend members’ interests in the new NHS bodies in England by representing them in partnership forums at national and regional level.