UNISON wins insourcing of Serco staff in five London hospitals

Christina McAnea praises the ‘welcome move’ that means nearly 2,000 facilities management staff will return to Agenda for Change conditions

Previously outsourced staff working in facilities management at five hospitals across East London are to be brought back into NHS employment from May 2023, thanks to UNISON’s negotiations with the Barts Health NHS Trust.

The move affects around 1,800 cleaners, receptionists, porters, catering and security staff and others who are currently employed by Serco on one of the largest soft facilities management (SFM) contracts in the NHS.

This week, the trust’s board decided to bring the services back in-house, ahead of Serco’s contract expiring at the end of April next year.

Staff will be joining the existing 17,000 staff at Barts currently employed under Agenda for Change (AfC) conditions. This will improve their pay prospects, currently based on the trust’s commitment to the London Living Wage.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “After extensive campaigning, it’s great that cleaners, receptionists, porters, catering and security staff and others at Barts will be employed directly by the NHS again.

“These staff kept our hospitals running at the height of the pandemic. They’re the heart of the NHS, and they deserve to be treated as such.

“It’s a welcome move that the trust has done the right thing and brought staff back in-house.”