Multiservice provider Serco has announced that it is to pull out of Barts Health facilities management in 2023.
Barts Health NHS Trust in London was established in 2012. It runs five hospitals across the City of London and East London and is one of the largest NHS trusts in England.
Serco runs portering, laundry, cleaning and security services in the hospitals and has given notice of its departure with effect from the end of April 2023.
The company employs about 1,700 people across the trust group, including receptionists, helpdesk and patient catering services, and has pledged to ensure a smooth handover for all of them.
The trust’s executive is now considering future arrangements, which could mean bringing FM in-house.
The company stated that it is exercising its right to terminate the soft FM deal a year early because it is losing money on the deal agreed on five years ago.
Simon Chipperfield, Serco’s managing director for health, said: “I would like to thank our team at Barts Health for their hard work, especially during the pandemic, and reassure them that we will continue to support them through the next 18 months. We are in close contact with the trust about their future plans and remain interested in the opportunity to provide services beyond the end of the current contract.”
The Serco contract had been due to end in June 2024 and included provision for either side to terminate early from this month as long as 18 months’ notice was given. Serco said the move did not affect its other NHS contracts elsewhere.
Chipperfield added: “We have not made this decision lightly, and remain fully committed to delivering the high-quality services we provide over the next 18 months, as well as ensuring there is a smooth transition to the new arrangements that the trust puts in place.”
Mark Bagnall, the trust’s group director of estates and facilities management, said: “There will be no change to the day-to-day roles of contracted staff who remain valued members of the Barts Health family. Everyone permanently employed by Serco at the handover will be eligible to transfer to a new provider under existing terms and conditions.”