1 April 2013 has been and gone and the NHS is reborn. Each former Primary Care Trust (PCT) or Strategic Health Authority (SHA) was required, before its abolition on 31 March, to draw up a Transfer Scheme dealing with the destination of all its assets and liabilities – and these will have included any training and education contracts with HEIs.
These Transfer Schemes operated to transfer legally PCT and SHA contracts with HEIs to new NHS transferee organisations, regardless of any prohibition on transfer or assignment set out in the contracts themselves. PCTs and SHAs were required to liaise with their contracting counterparties in advance of the transfer to inform and agree with them where their contracts would be transferred. So, HEIs should have received notification from their NHS commissioners and providers as to which organisations would be stepping into the original NHS body’s contractual shoes. However there was no legal requirement to enter into any form of novation, assignment or transfer agreement with the NHS transferor.
In the case of the former SHAs’ training or education contracts, the transferee organisation will be Health Education England (HEE), which has taken over education and training responsibilities from SHAs and will lead the planning of the healthcare workforce and the allocation of education and training resources. HEE is established as a special health authority with specific functions including developing and publishing its strategic education operating framework and establishing and overseeing the local education and training boards (LETBs) as committees of HEE.