Shared Services Strategic Framework

A strategic approach to developing shared services projects based on a progressive approach, principles for shared services, a public sector shared services strategy, democratic governance and accountability, an evidence-based methodology, quality jobs and comprehensive appraisal criteria and impact assessment (May 2007).

Does Excelcare really?

An investigation into the transfer of 10 residential care homes by Essex County Council to Excelcare Holdings PLC for Essex County UNISON. Essex County Council sold it’s ten remaining care homes in 2005 to Excelcare Holdings Plc. Staff were assured that TUPE would protect terms and conditions and would last “indefinitely”. Less than two months later, Excelcare demanded changes in rotas and working hours, followed by radical changes to terms and conditions which included a reduction in pay rates and earnings – many staff would lose between 30% – 40% of their income, a reduction in holidays and loss of sickness benefit (only Statutory Sick Pay) and the loss of night shift rates because Excelcare imposed a 24 hour rate.

A few staff accepted the offer but most did not. In November 2006 it imposed new terms and conditions in five homes by terminating the contracts of all staff who had not accepted the offer. Those who continued working were paid at Excelcare rates and not the Essex County Council pay rates transferred under TUPE. There are now 40 tribunal unfair dismissal cases pending. Excelcare operate the homes using ten separate companies. Excelcare Holdings PLC is registered in England and Wales, which in turn is owned by the ultimate parent company, Excelcare Group Ltd, registered in Jersey, Channel Islands, a tax haven.

In July 2010 one hundred and fifteen ex-Excelcare workers received nearly £1m compensation after being dismissed for not accepting wage cuts of up to 40% and other changes to terms and conditions.

Government abandons plans to outsource and offshore NHS Prescription Pricing Division

The Department of Health has rejected a KPMG options appraisal in favour of a ESSU appraisal prepared for UNISON Northern, thus saving 2,500 jobs. The Department of Health has confirmed that the planned outsourcing and offshoring of the Prescription Pricing Division of the NHS Business Services Authority will not be progressed. The PPD’s Capacity Improvement Programme will continue. It is a significant victory for the 2,500 staff and UNISON’s Northern Region, in particular the strategy and approach adopted.

The NHSBSA engaged KPMG to prepare an options appraisal which resulted in the outsourcing plan. UNISON engaged the European Services Strategy Unit to prepare an alternative appraisal and assess the implications of the KPMG report. The ESSU worked closely with shop stewards from the northern based PPD centres. The NHSBSA recommendation and both reports were submitted to the Department of Health in late 2006. The Minister for Health, Andy Burnham, stated that the “DH has now completed their review and has decided that the NHSBSA proposal should not be progressed” (April 24 2007).

Social and Economic Audit: Oldham Strategic Service Delivery Partnership

Assesses Oldham’s planned Strategic Service Delivery Partnership and shows that the project falls well short of the targets and claims made for community cohesion, regeneration and job creation. Oldham Council is proposing a £170m – £260m ten-year Strategic Service Delivery Partnership contract which will transfer property, highways, information and communication technology, customer and exchequer services to a Joint Venture Company (JVC) formed with a group of private contractors. The Council proposes to transfer, rather than second, about 350 council staff to the JVC. A potential second phase of the project would include the transfer of human resources, payroll, financial services and administration to the JVC.


40,000 documents downloaded from ESSU web site in 2006

In 2006 visitors to the ESSU web site examined 137,791 pages and downloaded 35,332 .pdf files and 4,380 .doc files, a total of 8.652 gigabites. This demonstrates increasing use of the site and a widening global usage. Comments and proposals to improve the web site are welcome.