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Contractual Change & Consultation – What does that mean?

Updated 12th May 2024.

Changes happen, it is part of any business and life.

Your employer considering change – READ THIS – This should give you an idea of how change should be applied and what you should know. Undoubtably you will still have questions. Then contact us!

Most planned organisational change is triggered by the need to respond to new challenges or opportunities. University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (the Trust) faces changes in response to the challenges facing the NHS, including Quality, Innovation, productivity and prevention, service transformation, improvements in patient safety and NHS financial constraints.

Whilst change is inevitable, the approach to change should be carried out in a just and learning way that creates a supportive environment and a shared responsibility for all those involved. Where changes are made rapidly and on a short term basis, there needs to be consideration of this policy where changes become permanent.

Whatever the reason driving the change and whatever the nature of the change it is clear that our employees are central to its achievement and success. Most change involves new working practices or changes to contractual terms. Some change entails uncertainty about future employment prospects.

The Trust seeks to ensure that employees understand the reasons for, and are committed to, the change. It aims to maintain stability of employment where this is consistent with efficient provision of services and to act fairly and reasonably with employees whose jobs are affected by such changes.

Communication is key in managing organisational change. Open, honest, and transparent communication will take place between all parties i.e. the Joint Staff Negotiating Committee (JSNC), management and affected employees.

Information about proposed change, its implications and potential benefits will be communicated and consulted upon by the relevant manager. Employees affected are encouraged to contribute their own ideas and suggestions and to voice any concerns with their manager. At all stages of the process, employees will be able to seek the advice and support from their professional or Trade Union representatives.

At work, changes should be managed in a meaningful and supportive way. As well as the patient service, the employer should be considering the impact of any change on the personal work life balance of the staff providing the service.

When we are at work were are NHS Staff, when we are at home we are members of the public or even the patients. We all want a service to work but staff are key to helping make that service work best!

At some point in your NHS career there will be changes experienced by you and it is key that you understand how these changes should be thought out, planned and if they are fit for purpose, how they are implemented.

UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS PLYMOUTH NHS TRUST has an Organisational Change Policy which describes the way any change should be managed.

If you are concerned about changes afoot in the department you work in, please make contact with your Trade Union as soon as you can. We can ensure you are given access to the most reliable and agreed change policies.

This link will take you to the UHPT policy pageOrganisational Change Policy – Best place for an up to date version.

GMB Trade Union Reps play a key part in the development and application of policy. If you hear whispers of change, an informal chat with your line manager may be able to explain or silence those whispers.

Or just ask us!