Promoting partnership working in the NHS

Red Route - You are employed in the NHS transferring to another job in the NHS

Examples of this type of transfer

For the purposes of the SPF Staff Transfer Guide, this kind of transfer might involve staff transferring from one NHS organisation to another. Annex 1 of the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook lists NHS employers in the UK. For England the list includes: 

  • NHS trusts including foundation trusts
  • Special health authorities
  • NHS England
  • Clinical commissioning groups
  • NHS Digital (formerly The Health and Social Care Information Centre)
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  • Health Education England

Further details about NHS organisations in England can be found on the NHS website or via the organisation's websites.

 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, the 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 and that the staff are treated no less favourably than if TUPE applied. COSOP also states that where TUPE does not apply, and legislation is not used to effect the transfer, staff should be offered the opportunity to move to the new employer on terms that are overall no less favourable than if TUPE applied; and if they choose not to move they should, where possible, be redeployed within the transferring organisation. For more detail on the application of TUPE see our resource library web page.

Terms and conditions may vary between NHS organisations, and staff will need to seek advice about their own circumstances. You should contact your HR department, trade union or staff representative to get further advice. All appropriate engagement and consultation must take place with staff before any potential transfer takes place, regardless of which body you move to or from.

You should note that if your circumstances mean you are moving to another part of your existing NHS employer, that has been internally separated, legally no transfer takes place and you will remain on your existing terms and conditions. 

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