No turning back on Harrogate NHS Trust subsidiary company

No turning back on Harrogate NHS Trust subsidiary company.
No turning back on Harrogate NHS Trust subsidiary company.

NHS Trusts across England have been told to pause any plans to set up a subsidiary company following widespread strike action, but Harrogate will not have to comply.

Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) revealed plans to set up a commercial arm in November 2017, which was finally established in March this year.

At the time, the decision was one that had already been taken by a number of Trusts across the country, in order to run some services in a more financially-viable way.

Various other NHS Trusts are now considering the move to save money, but nationally, the plans have been met with strong opposition from union members who have taken part in protests, including demonstrations in Harrogate earlier this year.

Protestors claim the plans are being used to take advantage of a VAT loophole and are pushing staff out of the NHS.

At HDFT, only non-clinical services were transferred to the subsidiary, affecting some 300 staff members.

Robert Harrison, Chief Operating Officer at HDFT, said: “NHS Improvement’s national announcement relates to plans to create new subsidiaries or change existing subsidiaries.

“Harrogate Healthcare Facilities Management has been in place since March 2018 and therefore this directive doesn’t apply to our arrangements.”