Cleaning, catering, and support staff at Barts Health NHS Trust are now back in-house

2 May 2023
Embargo: 00.01hrs Wednesday 3 May 2023

Cleaning, catering, and support staff at Barts Health NHS Trust are now back in-house

Cleaning, catering, and support workers at Barts Health NHS Trust are now directly employed by the NHS again following a successful campaign by UNISON to bring them back in-house, the union has announced today (Wednesday).

The trust had been gradually bringing the 1,800 staff, previously employed by Serco, back under its employment since last November, and the process was completed on 1 May.

Security and reception staff became NHS employees again last autumn. They were followed by porters in February, helpdesk staff at the beginning of April, and finally cleaning, catering and support staff this month.

UNISON’s general secretary Christina McAnea is visiting three of the trust’s hospitals later today to celebrate the win with workers. She said:

“It’s always going to be better for health workers to be employed directly by the NHS. Barts is to be congratulated for this move, which will make a real difference to everyone affected.”

UNISON London regional organiser Pam Okuns-Edokpayi said​: “The NHS couldn’t function without the vital contribution this group of staff make, and it’s great to see Barts recognise this. ​UNISON’s proud of the deal negotiated.”​

Barts Health Director of Soft Facilities Management Eileen Phillips said: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome our soft FM colleagues into the Trust and the Barts Health family.

“We have incredibly dedicated teams of caterers, domestics, porters, ward hosts security teams and receptionists who work hard every day to support our clinical teams deliver excellent care to our patients.”

Notes to editors:
– Christina McAnea will be visiting Royal London Hospital at 12pm, Whipps Cross University Hospital at 1pm and Newham University Hospital at 2pm on Wednesday 3 May.
– The five Barts Health hospitals are Mile End, Newham University, Royal London, St Bartholomew’s and Whipps Cross.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contact:
Emma Davey M: 07432 733187 E: