Trusts must not be prevented from using wholly owned subsidiaries
03 July 2018
- NHS Providers has reaffirmed its support for trusts using wholly owned subsidiaries (WOS).
- The move comes ahead of a BBC File on 4 documentary which looks at why trusts are turning to this model.
- WOS are not for profit companies that allow trusts to retain 100 per cent of the shares, ensuring that the organisation, staff and relevant funding remains within the NHS family.
In an interview for the programme NHS Providers’ deputy chief executive, Saffron Cordery, explains how WOS can deliver a variety of benefits to trusts, staff, patients and the wider NHS. Speaking ahead of the broadcast, she said:
“Trusts set up WOS for many reasons and there is a danger that the criticism levelled at this approach could undermine their legitimate use of this option.
“It is understandable that people will want reassurance on important issues such as staff terms and conditions, and it is important that these are addressed through consultation and dialogue.
“However in an environment where providers are under enormous pressures, trusts are right to consider ways in which they can provide services safely and more efficiently.
“This is not a device for privatisation.
“Many front line leaders tell us WOS allow them to keep services within the NHS family, allowing taxpayers’ money to stay in the system, rather than outsourcing to the private sector or cutting staff or services.
Many front line leaders tell us wholly owned subsidiaries allow them to keep services within the NHS family.
“What we need to do is maximise the benefits of setting up a subsidiary and mitigate the risks, rather than undermine or prevent trusts from using them.”