Concordat Steering Group update

We plan to provide updates on the work being undertaken by the Concordat Steering Group (CSG) to support the transfer of PCT public health staff to local authorities (LAs). The CSG is the partnership vehicle for discussing, developing and agreeing, where appropriate, the national HR and workforce guidance and support to enable a fair and transparent transfer. The CSG also provides a link in to and influences the overarching national work of the HR Transition Partnership Forum.

CSG’s membership includes the Department of Health, Local Government Association (LGA), NHS employers, both NHS and local government trade unions and CSG is co-chaired between the Royal College of Nursing and the Department.

This first update reviews the key guidance and support documents published to date, including:

Human Resources (HR) Concordat and Frequently Asked Questions – 18 November 2011

Outlining the principles and standards for managing the HR processes of transfer, setting out the obligations of NHS and local government employers and trade unions in managing the change.

Directors of Public Health appointments – 4 January 2012

A joint letter from the chief medical officer and LGA chief executive providing advice on the appointment of directors of public health during the transition year, up to April 2013.

Local Government Transition Guidance on Workforce Issues – 13 January 2012

This document is aimed at council HR specialists. It builds on the HR Concordat and sets out principles for managing staffing issues and the establishment of effective consultation arrangements, which encompass the relevant PCT, LA and trade unions.

Pensions – 17 May 2012

A joint letter (from the CMO and LGA chief executives) setting out the agreement that public health staff who have access to the NHS Pension Scheme on 31 March 2013 should retain access to the NHS scheme on transfer.

Transitional Working Arrangements – 12 June 2012

Providing advice on achieving effective transition working arrangements with minimal risk, as well as reminding all parties of good HR practice that applies to such arrangements.

Filling of Posts in Receiving Organisations – 1 August 2012

A joint letter from the CMO and LGA chief executive was sent direct to local authorities. The letter alerted them to:

  • the national policy on filling posts in receiver organisations,
  • the need to understand the processes set out and to apply them when relevant,
  • the legal basis and process of transfer,

and

  • the need to reinforce the safe and secure transfer for this part of the system.

Further support and guidance planned for this summer includes HR guidance on the technical application of the filling of posts in receiving organisations document, being developed by LGA. This will provide a more detailed commentary on where the document is relevant and how LAs should act as receiving organisations.

A ‘Guide to Working in Local Government’ will be published soon, to welcome public health staff to local government and provide some key facts and figures about the sector and to support local inductions. To reflect all the latest guidance, a refreshed set of frequently asked questions will be published.

To help achieve the key milestones in the transfer process, CSG strongly recommends the setting up of an effective consultation process, supported by formal joint discussions between PCTs, LAs and the relevant trade unions on the service and workforce requirements of the local transition plans.

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