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National Finance Centre

Volume 456: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans there are for the National Finance Centre of NHS Professionals to go into partnership with a private company; what assessment she has made of the possibility of UK-based job losses as a result of these changes; and if she will make a statement. (112521)

[holding answer 30 January 2007]: NHS Professionals is currently in negotiation with NHS Shared Business Services with a view to transferring its National Finance Centre function into the organisation with effect from 1 April 2007.

NHS Shared Business Service is a 50:50 joint venture between the Department and Xansa. It was launched in April 2005 to provide shared services to the national health service.

NHS Shared Business Service is the preferred NHS supplier for this kind of activity. The organisation already provides finance, accounting and payroll services to a number of other NHS organisations and is therefore more able to take advantage of economy of scale and to invest in technology to improve processes where appropriate. In addition, it is stated Government policy for all the Department's governmental bodies to investigate shared services opportunities.

NHS Professionals is conducting a full staff consultation process with the permanent workforce that will be affected by this change and this process also includes input from national and regional staff- side representatives. All permanent members of staff at the National Finance Centre will be offered roles at NHS Shared Business Services and their transfer will be conducted under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.