WORKFORCE: More than 700 community staff in Greater Manchester will have to transfer to a new employer twice in quick succession.
Community services in Tameside and Glossop are currently provided by Stockport Foundation Trust, but the trust has given notice on the contract, which ends this month.
Staff are set to transfer to Tameside Hospital FT on 1 April, but this will only be a “holding place” before they move to a new “integrated care organisation” for the borough, which is in the process of being formed. The ICO is due to start operating later this year.
According to board minutes for February published by Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, there have been concerns for staff welfare, along with assurances that they will be supported.
The CCG said it was recently informed that Stockport FT would cease running the services as it does not see them as part of its future strategy.
It added in a statement: “The CCG governing body believes that Tameside Hospital, our local foundation trust, should be the holding place of our transferring community services being cognisant of our clear intention that community services will ultimately be a core part of the integrated care foundation trust…
“In order to achieve the rapid improvement in sustainability for our health and care system we need to implement our plans as quickly and as safely as possible whilst ensuring we are cognisant of any legislation in the process.
“The first key step along this journey is to vertically integrate community services with our local acute services because without doing so the ICO vision will not be possible.”
Asked if it had considered tendering the services, the CCG said: “Being mindful of the short time period available… the governing body considered the risk of legal challenge against the risk of not having an effective and safe service available for its population on 1 April 2016, and therefore took the pragmatic decision that Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust is the most capable provider for this transfer.”