As I am sure you are aware Thames Ambulance Service Ltd. (TASL) took over the running of the NEPTS contract in Leicestershire on 1st October 2017. The contract had previously been operated by Arriva Transport Solutions Ltd. (ATSL) . Just prior to contract transition, new rotas were implemented for commencement on 1st October 2017. The implementation of these new rotas, new base locations and a new employer caused some initial trauma for staff and we appreciate the positive attitude staff had in accepting the changes and assisting with the transition period. We recognised that a review of these rotas would need to take place once the contract had started to bed in. The implemented rotas did make any relief provision and this is a situation that was untenable in order to provide a consistent staffing level and this needed to form part of the review. We have now completed that review process and aligned the new rotas with appropriate staffing levels, relief provision and service delivery requirements.
We appreciate that the proposed changes will affect some people more than others and will conduct a series of meetings and offer one to one sessions for staff so that we can discuss individual and group concerns. We would also appreciate any feedback from staff regarding the rota construction as we intend for this consultation period to meaningful and it is our wish to achieve staff buy in to our proposals.
I have attached the proposed new rotas to this email and is our intention to start the consultation process by Monday 18th December with an anticipated implementation of the rotas on Monday 15th January. This process has been delayed slightly as it was deemed the most sympathetic approach so as not to disrupt any leave or rota days off over the Christmas and New Year period
In addition at the time of transition a 3rd base location had not been identified so staff who had been working out of the ATSL Whetstone Base, LE8 6LH were requested to work out of the Loughborough base as an interim measure. I am happy to inform you that we have now identified a suitable base location to better service the south of the county and the M69 corridor. This base will be located on the north side of Nuneaton and we are in the final steps for the sign off of the lease. We anticipate taking vacant possession in mid to late January 2018 and commence operations from that site as soon as possible. It may well be that we implement the Nuneaton rota before mobilisation of the Nuneaton base takes place and in this event we will operate a virtual Nuneaton provision from Loughborough until such time as the Nuneaton base is operational. I can confirm that staff eligible for excess mileage payments will continue to receive them and this process will not affect their entitlement to the payments but obviously changes to travel distances will be taken into account be they positive or negative.
As part of this process staff have been asked to express a preference as to the base location and I am happy to inform you that we have been able to accommodate all staffs preferred base locations, including those staff who have requested a transfer to either the Northamptonshire or Lincolnshire NEPTS contracts also operated by TASL. I will be writing out to all staff informing them of the commencement of the consultation process and confirming their base locations. Changes to base locations will take place at the same time as the implementation of the new rotas.
There were some contractual changes following the transition from ATSL and as a result the night shift will no longer operate between the hours of 19:00-07:00 as was previously the case. Under the new structure we are contracted between 0500 and 0200 so have adjusted the rota structure accordingly. We will work closely with this cohort of 4 staff to ensure that we make every effort to accommodate them into the new rota structures. There will also be a reduction in the HDU rota from a current 15 to 13 WTE, however due to staff turnover there will be no actual reduction in the number of staff currently working on those rota lines however there are some changes to the structure of the rota.
Our motivation for these changes, as always, is to ensure service delivery. However we have attempted to make the rota structures as fair and balanced as possible whilst maintaining staff skill sets and offering a range of rotas to minimise the impact of these changes.