In late 2017, the Harrogate and District Foundation Trust set out plans to move non-medial staff, such as catering, porters and maintenance to a wholly owned subsidiary company. The staff were told that if they refused to move then it would be deemed a resignation.
The hospital has claimed that there are cost-saving benefits, but unions and staff have opposed the changes. Many believe it is part of back door privatisation and will lead to poorer working conditions.
Andrew Jones MP said:
I am expecting to catch up with the hospital Chief Executive soon as I meet her regularly to discuss health matters locally.
I know that she values the opinion of staff and the good working relationship with the trade unions.
There is a process to be gone through here and I am not sure politicians taking a partial view while discussions are underway does the staff, the hospital or patients any favours.
This is about what is best for patient care irrespective of any other consideration.
This to me is more important than a political slanging match and the decisions are best made locally by management, staff and unions without a running public commentary from politicians.
Hospital staff and unions will be holding a rally outside the hospital between 12 and 2pm today (1 March 2018)