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NHS managers protest to DH over Shared Business Services outsourcing fears

NHS managers have raised concerns that financial services to be used by every CCG in England will be outsourced to India.

The move emerged amid the fallout from the NHS Commissioning Board's controversial decision to force CCGs to use NHS Shared Business Services for their financial services.

NHS Greater Manchester's chair Professor Eileen Fairhurst has written to the Department of Health expressing her concern about potential outsourcing overseas, and its effects on local employment.

And a board meeting heard Dr Mike Burrows, chief executive of NHS Greater Manchester, had ‘made representations' over the potential for outsourcing abroad - given NHS SBS has a facility in India where it is understood parts of the system will be managed.

The NHS Commissioning Board made using NHS SBS – a joint venture between the Department of Health and private firm Steria - a condition of authorisation for CCGs earlier this month, after signing a £15.8m deal for its financial services.

The GPC voiced ‘serious concerns' about the decision – which the board said was the ‘the only option' - after a series of GP payment delays and administrative errors.

A spokesperson from NHS Greater Manchester said: ‘Board members raised concerns about any potential outsourcing of functions overseas. It was agreed the chair would write to the DH.'

Dr John Hughes, secretary of Manchester LMC, said local CCGs were ‘not 100% happy' about having to use NHS SBS. ‘It doesn´t smell well that the DH has chosen a provider in which it has a 50% stake when everyone else is being told to go through correct procurement procedures.'