Promoting partnership working in the NHS

Orange Route - You are employed in the NHS transferring to a GP practice or primary medical care contract holder

Examples of this type of transfer

This type of transfer would generally be to a GP practice or group of practices providing primary and/or community services under a General Medical Services contract (GMS), Personal Medical Services contract (PMS), Alternative Provider Medical Services contract (APMS) or NHS Standard Contract.

Following the new models of care proposed by NHS England in its Five Year Forward View, there is an increasing interest for GP practices to federate or form provider alliances. In these circumstances, it is likely the contract under which services are delivered would be one of those referred to above. Some APMS may be provided under a sub contract to a NHS Standard Contract. While most arrangements under this route are applicable for staff transferred to provide services under APMS, if it is a sub contract, they would only retain entitlement to membership of the NHS Pension Scheme if the main NHS Standard Contract (from which the sub-contract flows) is held by an NHS Pension Scheme employing authority.

If the arrangement is a GP Federation, network or alliance, it is likely that the contract would be an NHS Standard Contract. If this is the only contract held by the employer, then the blue route should be followed. If it is a sub contract arrangement, and the transferee will work solely on that sub contract, then eligibility for membership of the NHS Pension Scheme could only be retained if the main NHS Standard Contract (from which the sub-contract flows) is held by an NHS Pension Scheme employing authority.

The legal details

For the purposes of this guide it is assumed that compulsory transfers will fall within the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment regulations 2006 (TUPE) definition of a 'relevant transfer'. This means that TUPE would apply and employment contracts would transfer from one employer to the other without any change to terms and conditions, and without a break in continuity of service. In addition, Cabinet Office Statement of Practice (COSOP) applies across the NHS, as it does in other parts of the public sector. As well as giving guidance on the application of TUPE in the public sector, COSOP provides some guidance on what is expected to happen when TUPE does not apply. The current version of COSOP states that the principles of TUPE should be followed and that legislation should be used where possible to effect the transfer so that the staff are treated no less favourably than if TUPE applied. For more detail on the application of TUPE see our resource library web page.

It is expected that there should be all appropriate engagement and consultation with staff/staff representatives before any potential transfer takes place, regardless of which body you move to or from.

How will I be affected by my transfer?

For more information about how your transfer will affect you, click on a topic below.

Pay and terms and conditions
Injury Allowance
Staff engagement and partnership working
Education and training
HR policies and practices