WORKFORCE: Four hundred primary care trust staff are likely to lose their jobs in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country in the transition to the new NHS commissioning structure, HSJ has learned.

Formal consultation on the plans is set to begin next week. HSJ understands that a reduction of 400 posts would represent a 30 per cent cut in the overall commissioning workforce.

It is expected locally that the Birmingham, Solihull and Black Country commissioning support services will have around 400 staff. Around another 500 staff are likely to transfer to council public health teams, the NHS Commissioning Board, Public Health England, clinical commissioning groups, and NHS Property Services Ltd.

Pete Lowe, national officer for Managers in Partnership in the Midlands, told HSJ: “We are aware of a potentially significant impact and will be working with our members both collectively and on a job by job basis.

Local workforce representatives are also understood be concerned that the transition could have a disproportionate negative impact on black and minority ethnic staff.

Definitive data is not yet available but similar concerns were raised at last month’s NHS Commissioning Board meeting.