Wiltshire community and bank nurses are considering escalation in the face of inaction on the issue of not receiving the NHS Backlog Bonus due to a technicality in the law.

Community and bank nurses in Wiltshire cooperate with the NHS and wear NHS uniforms.

They work for a limited liability partnership named Wiltshire Health and Care, which is jointly owned by Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Read more: Wiltshire community nurses left out of bonuses by technicality

The LLP was set up by the three foundation trusts in 2015 to work around legislation that prohibited multiple NHS entities from applying for grants together.

As a result of the foundation of the LLP, community and bank nurses in Wiltshire do not fall under the definition as having an eligible NHS employer for the purposes of the NHS Backlog Bonus legislation.

Rather, the nurses are indirectly employed by the NHS by working for a company wholly owned by three separate NHS entities.

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An online petition that gained 18,309 signatures as of writing was responded to by the government on Monday, June 26 with a statement which did not address the question of medical workers employed indirectly by NHS-owned entities.

The government’s response said: “The pay offer to Agenda for Change staff, approved by a majority on the NHS Staff Council on 2 May, applied to staff directly employed by an NHS organisation as set out in Annex 1 of the NHS Employers handbook. Therefore, independent providers were not eligible to receive funding for the non-consolidated awards.”

One of the unions representing nurses, UNISON, recently undertook a ballot of its members employed by Wiltshire Health and Care in which 87 per cent said they would be willing to take industrial action.

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Jayne Jackson, UNISON regional organiser, said: “UNISON is disappointed at the position Wiltshire Health and Care has taken on the lump sum payment. UNISON is working with staff to lodge a collective grievance on the issue.

“Wiltshire Health and Care staff are essential to the smooth running of NHS services in Wiltshire and deserve recognition for their hard work.

“Strike action is always a last resort but will consider a formal ballot for action if the situation is not resolved.”