A significant number of the most senior primary care trust leaders will not join the NHS Commissioning Board, HSJ has been told.

The board last month indicated it would like PCT cluster chief executives to become directors of its 50 local offices. It named the possible loss of senior staff as one of its biggest risks.

HSJ spoke to six cluster chief executives who all said many of their peers would not join the board.

They predicted many would seek redundancy or early retirement, which could push up redundancy costs and create a need for often expensive interim managers.

One said: “At least half [of us] aren’t going to be here in the new world. We need to get the local board directors in place. I’m not sure I want to be a performance manager, which is what the role feels like to me.”

Another said there were “several reasons” why they did not want to join the board, including chief executive Sir David Nicholson “wanting to have a grip of everything”.