Workforce issues are very much coming to the fore in the new healthcare landscape, with wellbeing, workforce planning, changes to the CCG/ICS workforce, and equality, diversity and inclusion being key considerations.

While there has been a lot of commentary on the Bill, we have prepared a useful overview of the key ways in which we think it could impact on your organisation:

  1. As Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) are introduced to replace Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), CCG employees will mostly “lift and shift” into the new ICBs. However, very senior manager posts may not, so CCGs need to ensure that the appropriate organisational change policies are followed for those individuals and that they assess their potential financial exposure in terms of redundancy payments at an early stage. They must also ensure that they engage and consult fully with those who “lift and shift”.
  2. CCGs will also need to ensure that robust arrangements are in place to bring any officeholder or independent contractor arrangements to an end. They should ensure that they have robust officeholder agreements in place for Governing Body Members and are exercising any notice clauses appropriately (ensuring also that none are likely to be deemed to be employees). Similarly, what arrangements are in place for clinical leads and when do those contracts need to be ended?  A thorough audit of all such arrangements needs to be put in place now so that effective plans can be made.
  3. ICBs will, to a large extent, have freedom in how they appoint members and their conditions of membership, which need to be thought through at an early stage. What should be the tenure, remuneration, eligibility and reappointment provisions? Getting this right is really important if significant liabilities are to be avoided further down the line. 
  4. ICB board members may be employed or seconded in – so what is the best arrangement to have in place with them?
  5. ICBs can appoint employees and determine their terms and conditions of employment, which gives greater freedom to decide how to reward individuals (although “lifted and shifted” staff will have their existing terms protected to a large extent).
  6. Provider organisations shouldn’t feel left out though – with provider collaborations expanding month by month, it is important to ensure that employees can be moved around the system as quickly and easily as possible. This may involve implementing workforce sharing agreements, licences for people to attend sites operated by other organisations and robust mobility clauses. Have a look at our practical portability guidance, developed with NHS Employers (with engagement from the Social Partnership Forum) and commissioned by NHS England.

For more information or advice, please contact Andrew Rowland or Sian Bond.

Other highlights from the Health and Care Bill

We have prepared a series of “bite sized” updates on those aspects of the Bill that are likely to have most practical impact on your day-to-day work.

What does the Health and Care Bill mean for: