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PCTs begin new wave of redundancies

Eight hundred primary care trust staff are likely to lose their jobs in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, HSJ has learned, heralding the start of a final round of job cuts in the transition to the new NHS structure.

Formal consultations on plans in Greater Manchester PCT cluster and in Birmingham and Solihull and the Black Country clusters are due to begin separately this week.

The Manchester plans affect 400 jobs and the Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country plans affect a further 400.

Jon Restell, chief executive of Managers in Partnership, said although PCTs and strategic health authorities had shed staff over the past two years, as many as 6,000 job cuts could be expected over the coming months.

This is because many clinical commissioning groups and commissioning support services, and the NHS Commissioning Board, are only now calculating how many staff they will be able to afford to employ.

“We’re expecting something big to happen in the next three months because we have still got a system that needs to ‘downsize’,” he said.

HSJ understands that in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country a reduction of 400 posts would represent a 30 per cent cut in the local commissioning workforce.

That proportion is “at the higher end of what we might expect” compared to what could be seen elsewhere, Mr Restell said. This is because some parts of the country, such as London, have cut jobs “harder and earlier” over the past two years compared to Birmingham and the Black Country.

It is expected locally that the Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country CSS will have around 400 staff. Another 500 staff are likely to transfer to council public health teams, the commissioning board, Public Health England, CCGs and NHS Property Services Ltd.

Unions in Greater Manchester were notified of its plans today. Unison head of health for the north west Paul Foley told HSJ the local situation was “chaotic”, as the Greater Manchester CSS has not yet finalised its structure and has not yet had a managing director appointed by the commissioning board.

The 400 job losses will come out of a total cluster workforce of 2,850.

Readers' comments (8)

  • I don't think this is the "final round" in job losses.

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  • Neither do I. I think it'll gather momentum over the next 3 months but even if you add up all the wte in the new organisations on the back of an evelope you come up with a much bigger gap than 6000. More than 4 times as much.

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  • Reminds me of the IRON LADY'S 1990's idea to save local tax payer's bills by putting all council services out to tender, and to use TUPE to get rid of the workers.
    The result - no savings to the poll tax payer - no reduction in labour costs [ because all other central staff were transfered to other council departments ] and a gradual 'about face' because external bidders were unfairly treated , resulting in local government gained the rebids [ and welcomed the workers back via TUPE ???].

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  • We keep being told it is not redundancy or voluntary redundancy but a mutual resignation scheme ie voluntary severence payment with a compromise agreement. However, the pay off of one month for every year of service up to a max of 24 months which I understand the first £30k is tax free is going to cost virtually the same. Why is this? So the public don't realise how many people are going and how much this sham of a restructure is costing - if only they knew!! They seem to be making it up as they go along - we are now told a CB structure could be out in October - 6-months before PCTs are abolished - it will be a mad scramble with the wrong staff going for them to have to get them back at a later date!! What a waste of money.

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  • Will someone be telling Panorama? - It sounds the sort of issue they might want to investigate.

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  • And TUPE doesn't cover pensions, so the savings go on and on!

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  • What appears s to be missing is a coherent plan to migrate from the old structure to the new (as yet unclear) structure. The word chaos is not out of keeping here. In addition not only are some of the redundancy costs going to be concealed but there is a negative multiplier effect of so many put out of work and the increased total public expenditure account. In simple cash flow terms the NHS will be worse off across two financial years and the total public sector for longer assuming, of course, the jobs are now not needed!!

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  • I bet you a zillion squid that the way this will be dealt with is by banding down and changing pensions. Many will leave because of the latter, and cash what they've earnt, those of us trapped in limbo (too young to go) will have to take a drop in band or take out chances outside. There'll be plenty of work but not many jobs. This is such a crap way to treat good people.

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