Social Partnership Forum

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Social Partnership Forum 

The Social Partnership Forum (SPF) brings together NHS Employers, NHS trade unions, NHS England, Health Education England and the Department of Health to discuss and debate the development and implementation of the workforce implications of policy.

SPF website 

For more information on the SPF and its work see the SPF website.

SPF bulletin - March 2016

The SPF bulletin provides information on the latest and upcoming news from the SPF and its subgroups. To subscribe to the SPF Bulletin and SPF News Alerts email ‘subscribe’ to

The March bulletin features information about the SPFs proposals to tackle bullying and harassment in the NHS, the new interactive SPF infographic and the SPF Staff Transfer Guide. Key updates include the SPF Wider Group, Embedding Partnership Working Group, SPF meeting with the CQC, the Shared Delivery Plan/Five Year Forward View meeting and the Healthy Workplace Initiative.

HPMA Awards 2016

The SPF is proud to sponsor the HPMA Award for partnership working between employers and trade unions in the provision of health and social care. The awards are a fantastic way to recognise and reward the outstanding work that takes place in healthcare human resource management. The winner of the 2016 Award for partnership working, will be announced at the awards ceremony on 30 June.

Read about the winner of the 2015 SPF sponsored award for partnership working with employers and trade unions, and the other two finalists. Listen to a podcast from all three finalists talking about their initiatives, how they worked in partnership to succeed and the challenges they faced.

SPF six key messages in response to Francis Inquiry

An SPF subgroup contributed to the Government's report in response to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry. In volume one, chapter five of the Government's hard truths report, there is an entry from the SPF which sets out six key messages relating to the health workforce, on issues highlighted by the Francis Inquiry. These are also available on the Francis - SPF key messages web page, along with links to information and resources from the SPF and partner organisations related to the key messages.

SPF guidance on staff engagement and partnership working

The guidance, published in July 2014, was requested in the Government response to the Francis inquiry - hard truths. Developed by an SPF working group, the guidance promotes and supports effective staff engagement and partnership working in the NHS.

SPF Infographic

The SPF has developed a new interactive infographic, which shows the SPF organisational structure and the relationships between the SPF Wider Group and the SPF subgroups.

SPF subgroups

The SPF currently has two subgroups:

SPF Workforce Issues Group (formerly Staff Passport Group) considers the workforce implications of system reform and is currently engaged on the workforce aspects of a number of policy areas including pricing, procurement and NHS Pension Scheme ACCESS for non-NHS organisations providing NHS clinical services and developing proposals to help tackle bullying and harassment in the NHS. 

Embedding Partnership Working Group works to support, encourage and promote partnership working in the NHS.

Regional SPFs

There are a number of regional SPFs that enable employers and trade unions to contribute to the implementation of policy that impacts on the health workforce in their region. These forums also allow members to feed in views to the national SPF and other national committees such as the NHS Staff Council, facilitate the sharing of ideas and best practice, and enable a collective approach to resolving regional workforce issues. More information on the regional SPFs is available on the regional SPF web pages.

Partnership working in action

Good practice case studies of partnership working are available on the SPF website including:

Management and trade unions at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust identified an issue of concern - overly long and burdensome (and sometimes acrimonious) disciplinary and grievance cases. Working in partnership, the trust’s management and trade unions identified a solution, the Passport to Management two day management development programme. The organisation is now delivering this programme, in partnership, successfully reducing the time it takes to resolve disciplinary and grievance cases and improving outcomes. This case study won the SPF sponsored 2015 Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) award for partnership working with trade unions sponsors. 

If you have a similar case study of effective partnership working that you think would be worthwhile showcasing on the SPF website, please email details to:

SPF campaigns

Seasonal flu campaign to increase the number of health workers, with direct patient access, getting vaccinated against seasonal flu. 

Learning for life campaign to increase the amount and quality of workplace learning for staff across the NHS.

Employer representatives involved in the work of the SPF include:

  • Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive, NHS Employers
  • Rebecca Smith, Assistant Director, National Engagement Service, NHS Employers
  • Ann Macintyre, Director of Workforce, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  • Harry Hayer, Director of Organisation, People and Performance, North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Steven Ned, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust
  • Andrew Maloney, Director of HR and Corporate Services at Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Jan Bloomfield, Executive Director of Workforce and Communications, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
  • Debbie Herring, Director of Strategy & Organisational Development, Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Jinjer Kandola, Executive Director of Organisational Development & workforce, Hertfordshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kath Griffin, Director of HR, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
  • Paul Cracknell, Director of Strategy & Transformation, Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust

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