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Hundreds of jobs at risk as health chiefs roll NHS improvement bodies into one

Hundreds of jobs are at risk as the NHS Commissioning Board is to form a new improvement board that will roll six existing bodies into one by April 2013.

Speaking to Pulse, the board’s director of improvement and efficiency Jim Easton said the new improvement board should require only in the region of 200 staff, as opposed to the over 500 staff currently working in existing organisations.

The bodies set to go in favour of the new organisation are NHS Improvement, the NHS National End of Life Care Programme, the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, the National Cancer Action Team, NHS Diabetes and Kidney Care, and the NHS Technology Adoption Centre. The overhaul is expected to be completed by April next year.

He said the move comes as part of a wider strategy to maximise efficiency in the NHS, with the new body providing better-quality support to CCGs in an effort to shift more care out of hospitals.

Mr Easton said that while the changes are likely to result in a number of redundancies from the current entities, the NHS Commissioning Board will help as many existing staff as possible move into roles within the new body: ‘We are in an exciting time of change for the NHS, with the development of CCGs and GPs taking major leadership roles across the country. There is a huge enthusiasm for change, and this new improvement board will help the CCGs with the support they need to realise changes.

‘We are keen to make help available where it is needed and want to raise the awareness that where CCG leaders are looking for support, we will be providing that at very good quality.’

He added: ‘Along with the rest of the NHS, we are bringing a reduction to the overhead [costs].

‘These are fantastic people and we will try to help them find new roles in the new organisation – however, the good news here is that we are carrying a lot of good-quality work under one umbrella.’