The smouldering row over plans to transfer non-medical staff at Slough's Wexham Park Hospital into a newly set up 'subsidiary' company has flared up again - threatening to bring more industrial action.

The GMB union which represents cleaners, porters, security staff and other employees at the three hospitals run by the Frimley Health Trust held a vote - leading to a 100 per cent rejection by members of a compromise solution suggested by the management.

The union believes that transferring the employment of its NHS employees to a WOS (Wholly Owned Subsidiary) would effectively privatise their workplace and jeopardise their future security.

The trust has claimed that nothing would change, as the new company would be NHS owned while still bringing in financial benefits for the trust which runs Wexham Park, Heatherwood in Ascot and Frimley Park Hospital.

Following protests outside the hospital and earlier industrial action, temperatures cooled as the trust proposed a compromise solution - to evaluate staff individually and give them a share in the company surplus once the WOS was set up.

The rejection by staff of this opens the door to possible further industrial action.

Asia Allison, GMB regional organiser said: "Members have rejected what they felt and described as a bribe to accept privatisation of the NHS and their roles completely.

"Members, some of whom it should be said are some of the lowest paid in the trust were insulted and angry as they discovered that the trust had simply sort to place a monetary valuation on their willingness to sell themselves into the private sector, when staff insist that staying in the NHS is the only outcome that will see this dispute resolved."

A statement from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust today said that all activities relating to the proposed new company had been put on hold - so that the trust could focus entirely on responding to COVID-19.
It said: "Our staff are being magnificent in ensuring we are as well placed as possible to provide the care and support people need as well as supporting each other."