• About 300 support staff for Greater Manchester to move to Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Option of transferring staff to another CSU rejected for fears it would undermine devolution project
  • There have been at least 22 redundancies

About 300 commissioning support staff for Greater Manchester are set to be formally transferred to a clinical commissioning group at the end of the month.

Oldham CCG has hosted part of the North West Commissioning Support Unit since June, after it failed to gain accreditation to join the lead provider framework from NHS England.

There was an option to transfer staff to the Midlands and Lancashire CSU, as has happened with the Cheshire and Merseyside teams.

But this was rejected in Greater Manchester due to concerns it would “effectively undermine the support arrangements intrinsic to the devolution agenda for Manchester”.

A report to Oldham CCG’s board in January added: “This would be expected to generate additional uncertainty for staff, and could result in increasing staff turnover.

“It was also anticipated that such a decision would result in Greater Manchester CCGs expediting in-housing by default, thereby exposing the GM system to significant redundancy burden as a result of stranded costs.

“Conversely the TUPE of staff to Oldham CCG is anticipated to provide additional assurance to staff and clients, thereby reducing staff turnover, and hopefully attracting recruits to existing vacancies.”

There have been at least 22 redundancies, according to the minutes of a joint CCG meeting.

Now known as Greater Manchester Shared Services, the Oldham -based team provides information management and technology, medicines optimisation, and resilience and registration authority services to all 12 CCGs in the region.

Other services, such as contracting and performance, communications, and financial services are commissioned to varying degrees.

Staff will be split between Oldham CCG’s headquarters and two floors of the former CSU premises in Salford.

Yorkshire and Humber CSU also failed to gain accreditation from NHS England last year, with many of its services now provided by private consortium Embed, following a tender process.