Health Department
Human Resources Directorate


Dear Colleague




1. This document announces the extension until 31 March 2001 of the Trust Reconfiguration Organisational Change Policy Statement (NHS MEL(1999)7) to cover organisational change in the NHS in Scotland. The Organisational Change Group will, in the meantime, develop a revised organisational change policy. The decision to extend the application of this policy statement has been agreed with the Scottish Partnership Forum.

2. The NHSiS faces as unprecedented period of change as it responds to the Government's agenda for the Modernisation of the NHSiS. It is vital that we continue to build upon the positive partnership approach adopted in NHSiS MEL (1999)59. The Organisational Change Policy Statement has proved its usefulness during the period of Trust reconfiguration and is now commended to the service as the basis for the approach to all organisational change. It will be replaced by a revised policy statement, agreed by the Scottish Partnership Forum, no later than 31 March 2001.

Main issues

3. The main issues arising from the extended use of this Policy Statement are:

3.1 The continued commitment of the NHSiS to the key principles of openness, fairness and equity in handling organisational change;

28th April 2000



For action

Chairs of Health Boards, Common
Services Agency, State Hospital,
Health Education Board for Scotland,
Scottish Council for Postgraduate
Medical and Dental Education,
Clinical Standards Board for
Scotland, Scottish Ambulance
Service, Scottish Health
Technology and Assessment Centre
and NHS in Scotland Trusts.

For information
General Managers and Chief
Executives of those organisations
mentioned as having action.

Members of the NHS in Scotland
Partnership Forum


Enquiries to:

Bill Welsh
Room 124
St Andrew's House

Tel: 0131-244 2492
Fax: 0131-244 2837


3.2 All NHSiS employers, working together, will seek to avoid compulsory redundancy by taking all the measures outlined in the Organisational Change Policy Statement;

3.3 Staff will suffer no detriment to their overall terms and conditions of employment as a result of any form of organisational change. Terms and conditions of service may be changed by local collective agreement; Whitley Council agreement or law;

3.4 The Statement also places responsibility on staff to accept suitable alternative posts on appropriate grade/terms and conditions of service and any agreed changes in duties and responsibilities and/or location.


4. Chairs of Health Boards and Trusts and local partnership forums are required to take action to work within the spirit of this agreement and to take forward the management of change in partnership, ensuring the full engagement of staff in planning and taking forward the modernisation of the NHSiS.

5. The recognised trade unions and professional organisations/local partnership forums will work in the spirit of partnership on the full range of staffing issues associated with change. All parties will agree to work reasonably and will not withhold agreement unreasonably concerning changes to working practices and job duties/responsibilities. It will be the responsibility of all parties to negotiate, with a commitment to reaching agreement, on a structured local disputes procedure to enable the orderly resolution of any differences.

6. Set against the background of the modernisation agenda all NHSiS employers will be expected to operate the principles of partnership working in MEL(1999)59 and to promote policies and practice which offer redeployment and retraining opportunities as a matter of course.

Review of the Policy Statement

7. This Policy Statement will remain current until the publication of the revised Organisational Change Policy or 31 March 2001, whichever is the earlier.

Yours sincerely



Director of Human Resources