Page Updated: Mon, 17/10/16 0:58





The following is a message sent to all staff at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust on October 12th, from the Chief Executive, which details the dire state the Trust is currently in:

Dear Colleague

Re: Financial distress

NUH is in severe financial difficulty and needs your help.

We agreed a £22m year-end deficit position (‘control total’) for 16/17. This is dependent on making £43m savings and receiving £24m national monies, conditional on achieving financial and operational targets (including 4-hours and cancer). £6m is at risk each quarter if we are adrift of agreed financial and operational targets.

After month 6 (April-Sept 2016), we are £18.2m adrift of our full-year 16/17 financial plan (£9m short of our savings requirement, £6.2m behind our activity plan and £3m in-year opportunities lost due to the delay of the merger with SFH).

We have plans to maximise the productivity of our theatres and outpatient time to help close our financial gap in the remaining months of the year.

We are spending £350,000 (2% of our total spend) a week more than we can afford. This is £50K a day; £2K an hour and £34 every minute more than we are earning.

We need you and your team to urgently help reduce our spend.

Our efforts to reduce spend and save money to date are insufficient to achieve the agreed year-end financial results. We have to do all we can to achieve our financial and operational targets. We will apply strengthened controls of vacancies, premium pay and of all ‘discretionary spend.’ Inevitably, we have to focus on pay spend as it is over 70% of our budget.

We have agreed with our Divisional Teams that we will take the following actions to urgently reduce the run rate of spend (pay and non-pay):

  • A centralised vacancy control panel (with Divisional and Executive representation) will decide whether vacancies will be filled – this excludes Band 5 staff nurse and Healthcare Assistant posts
  • Further reducing premium pay (including overtime payments)
  • Reviewing non-mandatory training until year-end to reduce agency back-fill spend
  • Re-stating our policy so that staff who use work phones for personal use make a monthly financial contribution to the Trust (this remains cheaper than contract pay)
  • No new office furniture orders (use intranet swap shop)
  • Reviewing travel costs

The details and process for implementing these additional controls is being worked through and further comms will follow, as will targeted comms to budget holders and recruiting managers over the coming weeks.

As uncomfortable as these decisions will be for staff, the alternative of not taking action proportionate to our financial challenge will be significantly worse (ie: regulatory intervention will be imposed upon NUH).

Please share this message with your teams. Briefings for staff will start this week (13 October, 8am, City Hospital at the Clinical Sciences Building (lecture theatre) and 18 October, 2pm, QMC at the PGEC). We will share regular updates on progress.

Thank you for your support in helping us to get the best possible financial and operational results for our patients of today and the future.

Kind regards

Yours faithfully

Peter Homa

NUH Chief Executive


As you are no doubt aware, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUHT) will be merging with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust(SFH).

UNISON and our sister trade unions have been kept updated with the progress of the merger process and only now, as things start to become clearer, we can now comment on this process.

There are still numerous issues to resolve but we know that SFH staff will transfer to NUHT and our union colleagues at SFH will handle this transfer.

Shortly after the merger, NUHT will change it's name to Nottinghamshire University Hospitals NHS Trust. This means that NUHT employees will continue to work for the same employer and only the name of your employer will change. The merger will not effect the terms and conditions that you are currently employed under. Agenda for Change will still apply.

There will be a process to agree policies and procedures for the new trust. UNISON will not agree to policies and procedures that will be less favorable than existing policies and procedures.

We have been assured at this stage that there will not be any enforced movement of staff from NUHT to SFH, or vice versa. However, all services are currently under review due to the Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which is happening nationally, as ordered by the Government. As yet, these plans have not been revealed so we do not know if or how this will effect the new Trust.

The two UNISON branches that cover NUHT and SFH will also have to merge and we have been in conversation to ensure that this process is as smooth as possible. The new branch is expected to continue pretty much as we are now and we will continue to provide the highest level of representation, both individually and collectively.

As ever, UNISON's workload continues to be very high and we are always looking for new reps to come and join us. Full training will be offered so if you are interesting in becoming a UNISON rep please email Martin.hallam-benn@nuh.nhs.uk


The cases below are all true…honestly!!

We have had a member dismissed on the grounds of ill health for not being on the Nurses & Midwifes Council’s register, two weeks after she came back to work and was dismissed on the day she went back on the register!!!

We have had a member given a written warning for allegedly behaving inappropriately which was apparently recorded on CCTV by a camera that wasn’t even working!!!

We have had a member investigated over a failed discharge…when the member was on annual leave 2,000 miles away!!!

All of the above issues were resolved by UNISON.

We have brought all of these cases and many others to the attention of management/HR but we remain perplexed at some of the decisions still being made by managers/HR.

In the first 6 months of 2016, our solicitors have won nearly £10,000 for personal injuries here at NUHT.

Last year our solicitors won compensation for one individual member that was over £50,000.

These are only the cases we know about!!!

We urge all non-members to join UNISON, as we suspect there are many other similar cases with staff who are not members.


Members are advised if they are called into any meetings with NO NOTICE and NO INVITE LETTER, and/or any third party from the management team (including HR) is present and taking notes, then this, by definition, is a ‘FORMAL MEETING'.

If it is a ‘Formal’ Meeting with No Notice or Invite Letter given prior to holding the meeting, then members have a right to STOP THE MEETING and ASK FOR REPRESENTATION.

PHONE 0115-7844014 or go to:
to speak to a UNISON STEWARD.

Click on Image Above For Downloadable & Printable Poster.


We welcome the CQC report in to the standards of care provided by our members and others at NUHT

“We saw some excellent examples of how staff worked together in the best interests of patients, crossing over traditional barriers and hierarchy’s” CQC Report 15th-18th September 2015

One concern that needs to be highlighted is that the CQC is under the impression that the Trust is heading for a budget surplus:

“The trust has a total revenue of £874,090 million and its full costs were £873,340 million. It had a surplus of £750,000 thousand.” CQC Report 15th-18th September 2015

This is despite the Trust publically stating that it had a planned deficit of £44M, so we are not entirely sure just where this information has come from.

UNISON and our other Trade Union colleagues raised concerns with CQC about the sickness policy here at the Trust and we are looking forward to continuing the discussions about how this policy can be improved.

“Some concerns were raised by staff side representatives regarding the application of the staff sickness policy as they considered this did not take into account where staff had long term conditions or had planned elective care.” CQC Report 15th-18th September 2015

What the CQC report highlights is that, despite the continued difficulties caused by the underfunding of the NHS, the quality of care provided staff and our members continues to be of high standard.

“On the whole, patients and relatives told us they were happy with the care they received and thought the staff were caring towards them. Generally we saw that staff engaged and interacted with patients and relatives in a kind, respectful and caring manner. Our inspectors saw many examples of extremely kind and compassionate care being delivered.” CQC Report 15th-18th September 2015

UNISON believe that the CQC overall rating of NUHT as ‘Good’ is evidently due to hard work and commitment of staff and our passion to provide the highest standards of care to the patients that use the service and we will continue to reminder senior Trust management of this at every opportunity.



A fire door padlocked open by a private company supposedly providing quality services in an NHS hospital. The photos were taken at the automatic doors of the MRI entrance of the Queens Medical Centre. We're not certain they can still be called "Automatic" if they're locked open, but we can be absolutely positive they can no longer be called "fire doors". This is an example of the kind of care, and thought for patient safety, provided by private companies providing services to the NHS.


As we approach the 2nd anniversary of the privatisation of the Estates and Facilities department at Nottingham University Hospitals, it comes as no surprise to UNISON that a similar privatisation has failed at our near neighbours in Leicester.

We informed the Trust 2 years ago of our fears and concerns of ‘outsourcing’ health care services to  private sector companies whose only motivation is to create a profit.

There are numerous examples of failed privatisations in the NHS but the failure of the contract at Leicester should be of grave concern to the NUHT Board of Directors, because there are many parallels to NUHT.

The Trust’s are of a similar size, they provide exactly the same services in cities that are almost the same size and the two contracts are almost identical.

If Interserve have failed in Leicester it is highly likely that Carillion will fail in Nottingham.

We raised detailed concerns with the Trust when they informed us of their plans to privatise our Estates and Facilities. These concerns were dismissed by the Trust.

It gives us no pleasure to be proven right.

Quite simply, privatisation of health care services goes not work, it is not good for patients and it is not good for staff.

Privatisation of public services is driven by a government that, at the same time as capping public sector redundancy payments at £90,000, argues for the right of bankers to receive twice their annual salary as a bonus.

The failure of the Interserve contract at Leicester is proof that the NHS is NOT safe in the hands of a Conservative government.

The following is from the BBC News Website:

“A private firm's contract to run cleaning, catering and maintenance for the NHS has been ended early.

Interserve won a seven-year £300m contract to manage NHS buildings in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The company was issued a formal warning last year after a row over cleanliness at the city's three hospitals.

In a joint statement, the firm and the NHS said the contract is "no longer appropriate" and will end three years early.

Blood stains

The agreement saw Interserve take on more than 2,000 staff and 550 buildings for NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland, which runs mental health services, and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

But last year hospital bosses ordered the firm to stop combining cleaning and catering duties following reports of blood stains in the corridors and bins not being emptied.

A joint statement issued by the trusts and Interserve said: "The original contracts were designed over five years ago and though they have delivered the intended savings it has become apparent that the contracts are no longer appropriate to the needs of the Trusts today."

It adds that the contract will end on April 30 and staff will be transferred back to the NHS shortly after.

Cleaning and catering will be carried out "in-house" although the firm will continue to work with the trusts on construction, including the new emergency department in Leicester.”

'Interserve cleaning contract in Leicester ends early'. BBC News. 8 February 2016.

The financial deficit that the Trust now finds itself in is £42M. That’s £42,000,000 to remove the shadow of any sense of insignificance its abbreviation might convey. That deficit is £7.2M (£7,200,000) worse than the Trust had already attempted to make provision for. Let’s be absolutely clear here, this is not a deficit due to bad local management, this is not a figure confected for propaganda, this is the actual official deficit figure being imposed on, and used as a direct attack on, our local health services and on our citizenry. And let’s be even clearer, the blame for this lies squarely at the feet of this government, and more specifically at the cloven hooves of David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt. Beyond them, it lies with the inept and perpetually protected bankers whose ineptitude and corruption were the direct cause of this situation, and with the rich and powerful elite, whose avaricious interests this puppet government solely represents. This isn’t a trade union issue, this is a local and national issue that affects everyone who doesn’t have the privilege of private healthcare. These hideous cuts affect you and they affect everyone you care about. Let’s make no bones about this, its simple health economics, people are dying and people are suffering specifically because of these cuts. Enough is Enough. And now is the time for anyone and everyone who cares about the NHS, and about the National ‘Love’ we say we have for our Health Service, to DEFEND what we say we Love, and actually say to this government ….

“Enough IS Enough!”


The best way to protect yourself against all these issues is to JOIN UNISON, Britain’s largest union.


Our website is regularly updated and we have a ‘Contacts’ page, from which you can gain direct access to any of our Stewards that are listed.

Branch Representatives can now be contacted directly on 0115-7844014.

If any non-members would like to discuss joining UNISON, then please also feel free to phone the Branch Office on Extension 76381, or on Nottingham (0115) 9627651 from outside the hospital. Alternatively you can phone the QMC Office on Ext 68428 or you can click the Application Form link on the left, print it off, complete it, and send it into the Branch Office. Or alternatively, you can join UNISON directly HERE. Still unconvinced? The Why Join? page provides ten excellent reasons why joining UNISON paves the way for a more pleasant and safe working environment and improved efficiency in our roles, as well as showing you some of the added benefits of becoming a member.

If you would like to be come more involved in any of our campaigns and activities please do not hesitate to Contact Us.