The Health and Social Care Act 2012 was regarded as the most wide-ranging and complex since the NHS was created in 1948, including closing more than 170 organisations and creating more than 240 new bodies. The timetable for implementing the reforms was tighter than originally planned because of delays in securing Parliamentary approval for the legislation. The Health and Social Care Bill received Royal assent on 27 March 2012, just over a year before the reforms were due to take effect.

Staff from RealWorldHR were involved in the final nine months of the NHS People Transition Programme, acting as professional leads and programme managers to established NHS HR directors, to ensure the safe and effective transfer or exit of 6,000 staff from 32 employers to 80 new employers. We acted as the main point of contact between Sending employers and the Department of Health; and chaired the pan-London partnership forum (involving BMA, MIP, UNISON trade unions) and we represented London Senders on the national partnership forum (BMA, MIP, UNISON, Unite and GMB trade unions). The agreements we helped negotiate at the national forum impacted 55,000 staff, where we worked informally with senior civil servants and key stakeholders in the nine new national bodies to provide independent HR advice for their start up.

As a cluster chief exec during transition I was responsible for the effective closure of my organisation and transfer of all the staff. This meant overseeing multiple work streams and ensuring risks were appropriately managed. Working with the staff from RealWorldHR in the People Transition team allowed me to understand the key issues that I needed to tackle for my people. They provided information in a way that allowed senior stakeholders to make decisions in a timely way and they adhered to a clear governance approach that allowed us to manage risks. I found the advice they provided and their ways of working a very valuable part of this change“. NHS Cluster CEO