It was with incredulity and then growing anger that I read the recent news item on commissioning.

The suggestion that success in commissioning should be judged by how many services have been decommissioned just beggars belief. The only note of sanity in the article was struck by Hull teaching PCT chief executive Chris Long, who said that "commissioners should work with their current providers to improve services rather than chop and change".

It is this chopping and changing where, as a Unison branch secretary, I encounter the human cost of decommissioning. Staff become demoralised as they are forced to go through competitive tendering, with many understandably jumping ship through fear of working for a private employer or concern over their pensions. This can lead to huge instability in service provision. The total insanity of judging success by decommissioning needs to be challenged at every level.

Peter Atkinson, Unison branch secretary, Sussex Community and Mental Health Branch