Nurses, midwives and health visitors at a primary care provider that became a social enterprise have won their bid to keep their NHS pensions.
Staff at North East Essex Provider Services, which became Anglian Community Enterprise on 1 January, have had confirmation from the Department of Health’s pensions agency that they will be able to stay in the NHS pension scheme, even though ACE is not part of the NHS.
ACE will become one of the biggest social enterprises in England. It trades as a community interest company, a limited company with an “asset lock” to ensure profits and assets are for “community benefit”. It plans to employ 285 nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff.
The DH’s decision to allow the company access to the NHS pension scheme is likely to set a precedent for other NHS social enterprises.
However, staff joining ACE from outside the NHS will not be entitled to an NHS pension.