Catering staff and porters at hospital are celebrating after tender plan announcement

Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Picture: Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Picture: Hinchingbrooke Hospital - Credit: Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Catering and portering staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital are celebating after learning their jobs are not to be part of a tendering plan to outsourced roles to a private provider.

More than 70 jobs, including the award-winning catering team, logistics and patient services staff at Peterborough, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford and Rutland hospitals were told their jobs would be outsourced from January next year.

In a statement released by the Trust that runs all three hospitals, it was announced an agreement had been reached that while the tender process for services currently provided by external contractors would continue, it has been agreed that existing in-house services will no longer be part of that tender.

Some staff organised a petition when the news was announced originally and after hearing the update, they said in a joint statement: “The staff are delighted that the Trust has decided to keep the catering and portering services in-house. They listened to staff feedback and acted on it. We look forward to now working together and giving the patients the best service possible. We would also like to thank all the local community for the kind messages that we have received.”

The Trust explained that the 72 staff members involved in the provision of catering, portering, logistics and linen services at Hinchingbrooke Hospital will continue to be employed directly by the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.

Graham Wilde, chief operating officer at NWAFT, said: “We have been working closely with the staff involved in providing these services and have listened to their views on how we can provide the best value for money for taxpayers while maintaining the highest quality services for patients.

“As a result of talks with Union representatives, facilitated by ACAS, we have reached a position that will see the Trust continue with its current procurement process for currently outsourced services, whilst reaching agreement for the Hinchingbrooke Hospital NHS staff and the services they provide to remain in house, employed by the NHS.

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Sam Hemraj, UNISON representative for NWAFT, said: “This is great news for staff who work at Hinchingbrooke Hospital who will remain in the NHS, where they belong, and be able to continue providing excellent services for patients and staff while on NHS terms and conditions.”