Statement about our domestic services team

27 Jan 2022, 6:02 p.m.

Our cleaning and domestic services colleagues are critical and valued members of our team. The work they do is essential to providing a clean, welcoming hospital environment that’s safe from infection.

Until 2021, we outsourced our domestic services to the private sector company OCS. When that contract was due to end, GOSH decided that bringing domestic services in house was the right thing to do; the best way to secure a high-quality service for the future in line with our values.

We welcomed the domestic services team into direct employment at GOSH in August 2021. Under law, all staff that transfer into another organisation have their existing terms and conditions protected. Therefore, since then, we have been working hard to bring the multiple sets of terms and conditions of this team in line with NHS frameworks. To date, we have aligned all the elements of their terms and conditions that universally benefit staff. These include sick pay, annual leave and access to the NHS pension. There are some elements that need very careful consideration, such as working hours; if these were to be immediately aligned, many staff would suffer financially.

We are aware of reports in the media that suggest the domestic services team are not offered the same conditions as other NHS staff. These reports are very misleading. All our domestic services colleagues are on NHS contracts and have the same sick pay, maternity pay, holiday pay and access to the NHS pension scheme as other staff.

On transfer all domestic services staff also received a 3% pay rise, with the lowest paid receiving an extra 4%, to ensure alignment with their NHS counterparts. In line with other NHS staff, all domestic services colleagues are on standardised pay rates based on their role.

We are also making sure we invest in the service and our people with a comprehensive training package for all staff, improved working patterns, clear supervision and a focus on well-being.

The process of bringing these staff in-house has been complex and we have worked carefully to ensure that no-one is accidentally disadvantaged. We thank all the domestic services team and our trade union partners for their help as we move to full-scale harmonisation of terms and conditions.

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