Yorkshire NHS trusts and council join forces to offer local discounts to staff

Three public sector organisations in Yorkshire have pooled their locally-sourced voluntary benefits to create a more cost-effective, competitive package, which has been rolled out to their collective workforces.

North Yorkshire City Council, York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NHS North Yorkshire teamed up to roll out each other's employee discounts to their combined workforce of about 20,000 employees.

The scheme, which went live this month, is administered in-house and gives staff access to a range of locally-sourced discounts that they may not previously have enjoyed. For example, discounted childcare perks which were previously available only to NHS staff have now been rolled out to North Yorkshire City Council's 10,000 employees.

Similarly, discounts for local dog-kennel providers, previously offered only to council employees, can now be accessed by NHS staff.

All employees can also obtain discounts on products such as a range of activities provided by Go Ape and an extensive choice of holidays.

Laura Thorpe, HR officer at North Yorkshire City Council, said: "We have brought together all the benefits we had individually. At the council, we did not have any discounts on childcare, so that one is completely new for us. We feel it is important to support local businesses and provide staff with benefits they can take advantage of every day.

"It is about sharing the workload and reducing the costs for all the businesses involved, while getting better benefits."

The pooled-discount arrangement emerged from the council's relationship with the NHS organisations, which provide some of its occupational health services.

Both York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and NHS North Yorkshire also provide national discounts through an external provider, and will continue to do so. North Yorkshire City Council used to run a scheme provided by You at Work, which was removed in September 2008.

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