Cleaners, porters and catering staff to continue to be directly employed

All cleaners, porters and catering staff will continue to be directly employed by the Trust following an evaluation of ‘in-house’ arrangements put in place on 1 April 2020. The Trust’s 1,000 plus ‘hotel services’ staff will now be consulted on moving to full NHS (Agenda for Change) terms and conditions. 

The Trust board today made the decision to continue managing hotel services in-house after the evaluation indicated a range of improvements. There is increased staff satisfaction and engagement within the hotel services team and higher quality scores for their services. Meanwhile, the costs of the Trust’s services are comparable with those of other London NHS trusts.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made it challenging to compare data directly before and after ‘in-sourcing’ though there have been additional benefits to having an in-house service during this time in terms of flexibility and responsiveness to new demands.

Professor Tim Orchard, Imperial College Healthcare’s chief executive, said:

“Hotel services play a crucial role in the smooth running of our hospitals and in ensuring high quality care for our patients. Our cleaning, portering and catering teams were among those at the forefront of our pandemic response and showed enormous commitment and dedication to our patients despite the extremely difficult circumstances.

“Our evaluation indicates our in-house approach is providing benefits and, after making a decision on a temporary move last year, we wanted to make a longer-term decision as soon as we had enough data on the practical impacts. Not least, to give our hotel service colleagues clarity for the future and to confirm their status as full members of our wider Trust team. I am very grateful to them – as well as to our whole workforce – for achieving this change so smoothly.

In January 2020 the Trust made the decision to bring hotel services in-house for a temporary 24-month period in order to address concerns about terms and conditions for hotel services staff and the need for them to feel properly valued while ensuring effective services continue to be provided. This was to be reviewed after a year. We will publish a summary of our evaluation report later in May. All hotel services staff were given NHS basic pay rates and sick leave and access to the NHS pension scheme as part of their move in-house last year.