Union chiefs hail deal securing 10,000 NHS jobs at Northamptonshire's hospitals

Agreement ends 'stress' over Northampton and Kettering NHS trusts' move to hospital group

By Kevin Nicholls
Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:43 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd August 2021, 12:06 pm

Bosses at the UK's largest union are hailing a deal with the county's two biggest hospitals which will protect more than 10,000 NHS jobs in Northamptonshire.

UNISON launched its campaign earlier this year aiming to persuade major public service employers to sign its Job Protection Agreement.

The new University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group are among the first to sign up, recognising the contribution made by NHS workers during the pandemic and offering job security under the formal collaboration of Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital trusts.

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The agreement protects 10,000 jobs at the two hospitals

UHN chief people officer, Mark Smith, said: “We are immensely proud of our over 10,000 employees and grateful to them for the tremendous commitment they continue to show through the Covid pandemic.

"Over the past 16 months, they have continued to provide an exceptional level of patient care and dedication.”

“This agreement is a fantastic way to offer certainty to our staff. It also fits perfectly with our people priorities within the new University Hospitals of Northamptonshire Group and our People Plan. We want to grow and develop our colleagues in Northamptonshire, to ensure they can provide the best possible care to our patients."

UNISON is urging more health employers across the region to UHN's example.

UNISON is urging more public sector employers to sign up to its campaign

The union says NHS staff who have been absolute heroes throughout the pandemic saving lives have had worries of their own, with many staff living in households where other family members lost out on wages or faced redundancy.

UNISON East Midlands regional organiser Gareth Eales said: “I'm delighted we have secured a job protection agreement with the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire Group to secure over 10,000 jobs.

"This agreement extends until the end of 2024, at which time we will review it.

"This achievement is significant locally, given the merger of the two hospital trusts which has been a cause for concern for staff.

"So as this new NHS group model evolves all workers can be reassured they will not face compulsory redundancy. That is the value of a trade union.”

UNISON convenor at Kettering General Hospital, Leanne Weatherly, said: “It has been an extremely stressful time for all NHS workers due to Covid.

"This stress has only been added to locally with the two hospital trusts merging and the inevitable restructuring that brings.

"To secure an agreement with the new trust ruling out any compulsory redundancies for over 10,000 staff is a fantastic achievement by UNISON and one I know UNISON members will welcome. We hope this type of positive partnership working continues”