Proposed NHS Changes Discussed With Staff

St Mary's Hospital

NHS bosses will decide tomorrow whether St Mary’s hospital can leave the NHS and become part of a social enterprise company.

It’s all part of changes brought about by the NHS White Paper.

The man who will head up the new organisation if permission is granted, Kevin Baber, came to St Mary’s hospital on Wednesday to talk to around a dozen staff.

Kevin says that, as the team worked up the business plan for the social enterprise, it was clear they’d reached the point where “this is the only option” adding “we’re now explaining to staff how we got here.”

He added they were keen to create an organisation with a strong focus on community services and patient choice and that’s why they’ve worked up the social enterprise model.

He told us that, as part of the plans, they’re not looking to reduce staff numbers, although he said in order to free up time to put into other services, there will need to be better working between existing teams.

In particular, Kevin says he spent time talking to staff about the issues of working with Social Services on the islands and he said everyone agreed a closer working relationship with Council staff would benefit patients.

Staff will need to become members of the new organisation and pay a token membership fee of £1 per year. They will maintain their terms and conditions of NHS employment and membership of the NHS pension scheme.

Kevin says patients in Scilly shouldn’t notice any change except, he says, the care will be better coordinated.

There’ll be public meetings in July arranged by the Primary Care Trust to discuss the changes.