Promoting partnership working in the NHS

London SPF

LondonAbout the London SPF

A formally and well-established body of both employers and unions working on common goals, the London partnership has achieved a huge amount. From the development of a London change management policy, and a pan London redeployment service, to effecting productive and proactive relationships between employers and unions locally, and influencing key decisions in the governance arrangements for future organisations. Policies and guidance featured on this page were developed and agreed in partnership with the London SPF.



The forum is co-chaired by Jinjer Kandola, chief executive of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey, Mental Health NHS Trust and Phil Thompson, London Health Unions.



To provide a modern partnership approach to issues affecting the NHS workforce where a London-wide view is needed or would be useful.

In particular it will:

  • contribute trade union and employer perspectives to the development and implementation of policy
  • provide constructive comments on implementation at a formative stage
  • contribute ideas on the workforce implications of the implementation of policy
  • promote effective communications between partners
  • promote good practice across London
  • feed London region views into national groups including Staff Council, the Social Partnership Forum and the Stakeholder Forum
  • contribute to the strengthening of commissioning within London
  • keep the patient at the centre of everything we do.

All partners recognise the importance of good formal and informal working relations, built on trust and shared responsibility, while still respecting difference.

All partners commit to adopt the following principles in their dealings with each other:

  • Building trust and a mutual respect for each other’s roles and responsibilities


  • A positive and constructive approach
  • Early discussion of emerging issues and maintaining dialogue on policy and   priorities
  • Openness, honesty and transparency in communications
  • Where appropriate, confidentiality and agreed external positions
  • Making the best use of resources.

Shared approach

This partnership agreement is underpinned by shared values and common purpose. In particular, partners:

  • have a shared commitment to continuous improvement, including access to high quality services and delivering value for money to the public
  • believe the NHS should promote good practice in all areas of staff management, including equality and diversity, staff development and a commitment to security of employment
  • agree that the NHS should take a collective approach to support staff who may be affected by service changes.

Membership pf the partnership will comprise of representatives from:

  • employers in the NHS in London, from a cross-section of organisations and job roles
  • London trade unions party to the Agenda for Change agreement, plus the BMA, MiP & HCSA
  • NHS Employers

London NHS partnership meetings are held quarterly and are jointly chaired by management and union representatives, Alwen Williams, Chief Executive, Barts Health NHS Trust and Phil Thompson, chair of London Health Unions.

Upcoming meetings for 2020:

3 December 2020 - 1pm to 2.30pm – Virtual

If you have anything you wish to be raised at the meetings or if you would like any further information, please contact

Agenda and focus

To remain adaptable in changing circumstances, a number of subgroups of the partnership have been established over the years in order to deal with specific areas of work. Originally these were focused on agenda for change assimilation, and two of these remain, recruitment and retention premia and the knowledge and skills framework groups.

Subgroups are formed according to need and may be time limited dependent on the issue at hand.

Going forward, the partnership’s subgroups will also need to remain up to date in order to deal with the pressing issues of establishing a future approach for all of the organisations it represents. The staff health and wellbeing subgroup, for example, is a long running group that has adapted according to the changing landscape.


Included in the achievements of the London NHS Partnership are oversight of the London implementation of Agenda for Change and system change in the capital, as well as the London Redeployment Framework and significant promotion of good practice on equality, diversity, and staff health and wellbeing across London's NHS employers. More information on regional frameworks produced for employers is available under the subgroups information heading below. 

London Life for NHS Workers: Working together to make the case for improved housing, transport and wider benefits are a sub group set up to lobby the London mayor on two key recommendations:

  • To work with London's NHS employers, Transport for London, NHS staff and their representatives to reduce transport costs for key NHS staff.
  • To provide key worker housing and prioritise new housing developments for key NHS workers.

Working with NHS Employers the group have created an infographic presenting the statistics which supported the two key recommendations. The lobbying has also resulted in the recommendations being featured in party manifestos for the 2016 Mayor of London election.

The group have developed some suggested good practice to help trusts when evaluating jobs, and in making sure they have enough staff trained as job evaluators. 

The health and wellbeing subgroup

The overarching purpose of this group is to improve the health and wellbeing of the London NHS workforce, both physically and mentally, through supporting the NHS in London.

The initial focus of the group is on improving staff health and wellbeing services in NHS organisations in London and reducing the stigma of mental health issues across the NHS in London. The group has representation from human resources, occupational health, trade unions and subject matter experts. Members of the group feedback to London HRD networks and the NHS London Partnership.

The group have been working together to help support The London Healthy Workplace Charter. The charter is a free self-assessment tool and accreditation scheme run by the Greater London Authority, that supports and rewards employers promoting staff health and wellbeing according to best practice, and is aligned to Public Health England’s Workplace Wellbeing Charter. A workshop took place on 23 November 2015, Realising the Healthy Workplace Charter in London’s NHS at City Hall.

The group have also focused on tackling bullying and harassment and ran a workshop on 30 April 2014, Promoting a Harmonious Workplace: Addressing Negative Workforce Behaviours.

Upcoming health and wellbeing meetings for 2020: 

  • 1 December 2020 - 11:00 to 12:30 – Virtual  

The policy subgroup

This group has worked on a number of high profile employment policy issues, producing essential pan-London policies integral to ensuring consistency and fairness in change management implementation across London such as:

  • Change Management Policy: This policy is a model document for employers to adopt as  their own in line with best practice guidance. It sets out the approach to the management of organisational change, and the procedures that should be followed by managers wishing to implement major change.

  • London Redeployment Service: This service is set up in partnership to enable employers to retain talent and reduce redundancy costs. The service has seen the successful redeployment of over 700 members of staff, saving a conservative estimate of over £50 million.

For any information on the London SPF, please contact the London engagement team:

Floor 2
18 Smith Square


Twitter: @NHSE_Engagement

Telephone: 020 7799 6666

The London SPF has sent a letter to the Transport Secretary, signed by co-chairs, outlining concerns around the proposed support package for transport for london, and the impact this will have on healthcare staff. 

Read the letter in full.