WORKFORCE: A charity has launched a local campaign targeted at an emerging commissioning consortium it claims has “scrapped” a specialist nursing post.

Two GP consortia are being established in the NHS West Sussex area and are advising the primary care trust on funding services during 2011-12. Formal delegation of budget decisions is on hold because of PCT clustering in the region. But Parkinson’s UK has accused one consortium, the Coastal West Sussex Federation, of reversing a decision made by the PCT to fund a new Parkinson’s nurse.

NHS West Sussex had last year agreed funding to recruit two specialist nurses – one in the north and one in the south. But while the consortium in the north backed the plan, Coastal West Sussex has opted to “take a longer look” at its future strategy for long term conditions.

Parkinson’s UK said it had been working with the PCT for more than two years to secure a Parkinson’s nurse to cover the area, but the consortium had “declined to support the post”.

But Coastal West Sussex Federation chair Katie Armstrong told HSJ a final decision had not been made on the nursing post. She said: “We have not scrapped the idea of a nurse in the south.

“We are holding an event on 5 May with a range of organisations and individuals, including Parkinson’s UK, to explore the best way forward on commissioning services.”