The service already exists and was set up some 25 years ago and provides a clinical gastroenterology (GI) diagnostic service to the hospital.
This service is provided by clinicians who are employed by the university which is attached with the particular NHS Trust.It is usual that such clinicians work part time in the Trust as well, although they don't usually provide a bespoke service.
When the service was set up arrangements there was a verbal agreement that the Trust would pay a sum of £20k/year regardless of how many patients that came to the unit. Space is provide in the hospital, which is considered college embedded space.
The service has grown significantly and many attempts have been made to negotiate an increase as it no way covers the costs, however, due to the lack of money and poor management these have always come to nothing. Fortunately, due to the units reputation, may other Trusts refer patients to the unit and pay for their tests, which has subsidized the unit and our Trust patients for many years.
The conversation is being had once again and as part of this the Trust require a formal service agreement. What isn't clear is who this should be between.
Can the head of the GI unit sign personally? Possibly not because as a member of University staff we are not usually authorised to signed contracts and this has to be done by approval through a designed institute signatory, even though the contract is nothing to do with the university. The other complication is that the funds from the
Trusts come into a University account through which the GI unit it run, again a historic arrangement as the easiest at the time. The problem being that, like most university, they are looking to make money where ever they can, it is likely the will try to insist on a cut of the revenue, for doing nothing.
That is why the suggestion was that the friendly society which was set up to support GI in our institution might be able to be the entity that enters into the agreement with the Trust and administers the service.