CAMPAIGNERS protested at York Hospital on Wednesday over the proposed transfer of NHS facilities staff to a subsidiary company.

Members of unions Unite and Unison have been handing out flyers to staff and patients at the entrances to the hospital this week.

Chris Daly, regional officer for Unite, said the union is also holding a ballot on whether members wish to take industrial action over the plans, which would see staff who work in facilities and maintenance roles at York Hospital and across the trust move to a new company on October 1.

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust formed a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) to deal with estates and facilities at its sites, including York Hospital.

Mr Daly said: “We’ve had lots of support from the public, patients and staff.

“The trust are still planning to transfer the workers. We don’t believe they should be transferred out of the public sector because they come out of the protection of the NHS Agenda for Change, so any future management could offer them different terms and conditions. They will be at the whim of whoever is in charge. That concerns us immensely. No one is here doing a job that isn’t important - cleaners, engineers, facilities staff - you haven’t really got a hospital without them. People want job security. There are people who have done 30 years with the trust. They are proud to be part of the public sector and to be delivering healthcare to the people of York.”

A spokesperson for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust previously said the new company is “wholly owned by the NHS” and staff moving to the new organisation on October 1 will keep their current NHS terms and conditions.